National Climate Adviser Gina McCarthy to deliver Wege Lecture

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Gina McCarthy, the country’s first national climate adviser, will deliver the Wege Lecture on Sustainability on Oct. 14.

Gina McCarthy
Gina McCarthy

As the president’s chief adviser on domestic climate policy, McCarthy leads the White House Office of Domestic Climate Policy focused on mobilizing a whole-of-government approach to tackling the climate crisis, creating good-paying union jobs and securing environmental justice.

Having served as the 13th administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency and then as president and CEO of the Natural Resources Defense Council, McCarthy is one of the nation’s most trusted and accomplished voices on climate issues — and has been at the forefront of environmental and public health progress in a variety of leading roles for more than three decades.

The virtual event at noon is free and open to the public, but registration is required.

The 19th annual Wege Lecture is co-sponsored by the U-M Center for Sustainable Systems and the School for Environment and Sustainability.

It will be moderated by Tony Reames, the senior adviser for the Office of Economic Impact & Diversity at the U.S. Department of Energy, and assistant professor of environment and sustainability at SEAS.

The lecture will be followed by aquestion-and-answer session with Kyle Whyte, a member of the White House Environmental Justice Advisory Council, and the George Willis Pack Professor and professor of environment and sustainability at SEAS.

In her time leading the EPA, McCarthy oversaw successful efforts to reduce greenhouse gases, mitigate air pollution, conserve critical water sources and safeguard vulnerable communities from chemical hazards.

She spearheaded the Obama-Biden Administration’s Clean Power Plan, which set America’s first national standards for lowering carbon emissions from power plants, and helped pave the way for the Paris Climate Agreement.

Prior to her role with the NRDC, McCarthy was a professor at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health and currently chairs the board of directors of the Harvard Center for Climate, Health, and the Global Environment.

Throughout her career, McCarthy has advised five administrations of Democratic and Republican Massachusetts governors on environmental matters, and she served as commissioner of the Connecticut Department of Environmental Protection prior to being appointed by Obama to lead the EPA’s Air Office.

The Wege Lecture Series honors Peter M. Wege for his outstanding contributions to the Center for Sustainable Systems and to the environmental field.

Each Wege Lecture has addressed a critical sustainability challenge facing society in the 21st century, from energy security and declining fossil resources to global climate change, freshwater scarcity, ecosystem degradation and biodiversity loss, and sustainable development strategies.

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