WASHINGTON – Today, in a bipartisan vote, the United States Senate confirmed President Biden’s choice to lead the Council on Environmental Quality (CEQ), Brenda Mallory. Mallory will serve as the 12th Chair of the White House CEQ. She will be the first African American to serve as CEQ Chair, a role that involves serving as the principal environmental policy advisor to the president.
Mallory will work to coordinate and advance the Administration’s environmental policy agenda, including its efforts to combat climate change; pursue environmental justice; conserve the nation’s lands, waters, and wildlife; ensure that environmental reviews are conducted fairly, effectively, and efficiently; and improve sustainability efforts across the federal government. She will work with all stakeholders to advance efficient permitting approaches that examine environmental consequences and engage affected communities.
“President Biden has not wasted a moment in setting our nation on a path to a cleaner, healthier, and more just future, and I am thrilled and honored to have the chance to advance this work as CEQ Chair,” said Mallory. “By helping forge unity of purpose – across communities, across the country, and across government – CEQ will help our nation rise to the environmental challenges of our time, from climate change and the nature crisis to the environmental injustices that have plagued our country for too long.”
Mallory brings to the job nearly 4 decades of experience in environmental law and policy, including public service in four presidential administrations.
She began her environmental law career in private practice, where she gained early experience in the application of the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA), a bedrock in federal environmental law, which CEQ administers.
After rising to chair the law firm’s Natural Resources Practice Group, Mallory turned to public service. In 2000, she joined the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) in its Office of Wetlands Oceans and Watersheds. Her career at EPA included serving as the senior career official and chief operating officer of the Office of General Counsel, leading the legal team supporting the agency’s pesticides and toxics programs, and other senior roles counseling EPA’s water, waste, and environmental justice programs.
During the Obama administration, Mallory served as the General Counsel for CEQ, where she played an integral role in many of President Obama’s signature environmental policy initiatives, including his efforts to combat climate change, conserve public lands, reduce toxic pollution, and protect streams and watersheds.
CEQ was created in 1969 by the NEPA for the purpose of coordinating efforts to improve, preserve, and protect America’s public health and environment.