Former EPA chief Whitman to speak

Christine Todd Whitman, former EPA head and New Jersey’s first female governor, will address the environment, sustainability and politics at Wake Forest University at 7 p.m. on Monday, Sept. 19, in the Kulynych Auditorium of the new Porter B. Byrum Welcome Center.

The talk, “Bi-Partisan Leadership in Today’s Environment: Substance or Sound Bite,” is co-sponsored by the Wake Forest Center for Energy, Environment and Sustainability, the School of Law, and the Schools of Business.

The event is free and open to the public.

Christine Todd Whitman understands environmental issues where the rubber meets the road,” said Miles Silman, director of the Center for Energy, Environment and Sustainability.  “Scientific knowledge and policy don’t count for much unless they are ultimately enacted by the executive branch, whether you’re talking about the state or federal levels.  Christine Todd Whitman has been in control of those executive decisions at the highest levels possible.  I can’t think of anyone who can give a better view on the politics of environmental policy “

Whitman is president of The Whitman Strategy Group, a consulting firm that specializes in energy and environmental issues. The firm offers a comprehensive set of solutions to problems facing businesses, organizations and governments; they have been at the forefront of helping leading companies find innovative solutions to environmental challenges.

Former Gov. Whitman served in the cabinet of President George W. Bush as administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency from January 2001 until June 2003. As EPA administrator, Whitman promoted common-sense environmental improvements such as watershed-based water protection policies. She championed regulations requiring non-road diesel engines to reduce sulfur emissions by more than 95 percent. Under her tenure, the EPA established the first federal program to promote redevelopment and reuse of “brownfields,” which are previously contaminated industrial sites.

Whitman served as the 50th governor of New Jersey from 1994 until 2001. In that role, Whitman earned praise from both Republicans and Democrats for her commitment to preserve a record amount of New Jersey land as permanent green space. The Natural Resources Defense Council also recognized Whitman for instituting the most comprehensive beach monitoring system in the nation.

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