Superheroes in the Field

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Lisa P. Jackson

2012 Protector of the Earth Award

Raised a proud resident of New Orleans, Louisiana, former EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson is a summa cum laude graduate of Tulane University and earned a master’s degree in chemical engineering from Princeton University. In 2012, she received an honorary doctorate degree from Tulane University. She has also received an honorary law degree from Pace Law School. 

She started with the EPA as a staff-level scientist in 1987 and spent the majority of her career working in EPA’s Region 2 office in New York. In 2002, Jackson joined the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection and was appointed Commissioner of the agency in 2006.

During her tenure, Administrator Jackson focused on seven priorities for EPA’s future: taking action on climate change; improving air quality; cleaning up our communities; protecting America’s waters; assuring the safety of chemicals; expanding the conversation on environmentalism and working for environmental justice; and building stronger state and tribal partnerships.

Administrator Jackson outlined principles to modernize our nation’s 30-year old chemical management laws, called for unprecedented innovation in drinking water protection efforts, and announced tough standards to clean the air we breathe. As the first African-American to serve as EPA Administrator, Jackson made it a priority to expand outreach to communities that are historically under-represented in environmental action. EPA stepped up protection for vulnerable groups including children, the elderly, and low-income communities that are particularly susceptible to environmental and health threats.