Gina McCarthy became the president and chief executive officer of NRDC in January 2020, leading more than 700 attorneys, scientists, advocates, and policy experts that make NRDC one of the country’s largest environmental action organizations. McCarthy has been a leading advocate for smart, successful strategies to protect public health and the environment for more than 30 years. A Boston native, she previously advised five Massachusetts governors, including Mitt Romney.
Previously at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, McCarthy was a professor of the practice of public health in the Department of Environmental Health and chair of the board of advisors at the Harvard Center for Climate, Health, and the Global Environment (C-CHANGE). She also served as a member of the boards of the Energy Foundation and Ceres.
McCarthy served under President Barack Obama as the 13th Administrator of the EPA from 2013–2017. Her tenure as EPA Administrator heralded a paradigm shift in national environmental policy, expressly linking it with global public health. She led EPA initiatives that cut air pollution, protected water resources, reduced greenhouse gases and strengthened chemical safety to better protect more Americans, especially the most vulnerable, from negative health impacts.
McCarthy worked with the United Nations and the World Health Organization on a variety of efforts and represented the U.S. on global initiatives to reduce high-risk sources of pollution.