Gina McCarthy '72
From 2013 to 2017, Gina McCarthy served as Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency under President Obama. Gina has dedicated her 35-year career in public service to environmental protection and public health. Her steady leadership and unwavering perseverance have led to federal, state, and local actions on critical environmental issues.
Gina McCarthy is an alumna from the class of 1972. Gina has dedicated her 35-year career in public service to environmental protection and public health. Her leadership and perseverance has led to federal, state, and local actions on critical environmental issues, and her significant accomplishments include action to advance environmental, clean energy, public transportation and public health goals consistent with a growing economy in New England and across the United States.
From 2013 to 2017, McCarthy served as Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) under President Obama. As Administrator, McCarthy was the nation’s leading advocate for common-sense strategies to protect public health and the environment. Willing to take bold action, McCarthy achieved notable success by finalizing the Clean Power Plan (CPP) which set the first national standards to reduce greenhouse gas emissions for fossil-fuel fired power plants. The CPP demonstrated the country’s strong commitment to climate action, sparking broad international support for adoption of the Paris Climate Agreement. Under her leadership, EPA also finalized the Clean Water Rule to protect rivers and streams that 117 million Americans rely on for their source of drinking water.
Prior to her role as EPA Administrator, McCarthy held the position of Assistant Administrator in EPA’s Office of Air and Radiation. Previously, McCarthy served as the Commissioner of the Connecticut Department of Environmental Protection, where she began an initiative called “No Child Left Inside” to introduce families to the natural world by visiting state parks, and she helped design and implement the nine-state Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI), the nation’s first cap and trade program to reduce greenhouse gas emissions for power plants.
Under her leadership, the EPA also finalized the Clean Water Rule to protect rivers and streams that 117 million Americans rely on for their source of drinking water.
She has also held senior positions in Massachusetts, serving five governors, including Deputy Secretary of the Office of Commonwealth Development and Undersecretary for Policy for the Executive Office of Environmental Affairs.
McCarthy was recently appointed a Professor of the Practice of Public Health in the Department of Environmental Health at Harvard’s T.H. Chan School of Public Health and the Director of Harvard Chan’s Center for Health and the Global Environment, leading the development of the School’s strategy in climate science, health, and sustainability.
She earned a Bachelor of Arts in Social Anthropology from the University of Massachusetts at Boston and a joint Master of Science in Environmental Health Engineering, Planning and Policy from Tufts University.
A native of Massachusetts, McCarthy lives in the Greater Boston area with her husband and spends as much time as she can with her three children Daniel, Maggie, and Julie.