About EPA

Biography of Lisa P. Jackson

While Administrator, Lisa P. Jackson was named one of Newsweek's "Most Important People in 2010," featured on Time Magazine's 2010 and 2011 lists of the "100 Most Influential People in the World", listed in Essence Magazine's "40 Women Who Have Influenced the World," and profiled in O Magazine for her work to protect our nation's air, water and land from pollution that threatens human health.

Raised a proud resident of New Orleans, Louisiana, Administrator 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.

In response to the greatest economic downturn since World War II, EPA invested in job-creating environmental protection projects across the country. Those investments led to cleaner communities that are more competitive in the race to attract jobs, while also encouraging the development and use of innovative environmental technologies.

In December of 2009, Administrator Jackson announced an endangerment finding on greenhouse gases, setting the stage for EPA action on climate change. Under her leadership, EPA issued clean air standards designed to reduce emissions from large facilities without burdening small businesses, and a clean cars program – crafted in collaboration with the Department of Transportation and the auto industry – that will make American vehicles more fuel-efficient than ever before.

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.