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Nancy Sutley

Nancy Sutley
Chairperson of the Council on Environmental Quality
In office
January 22, 2009 – February, 2014
President Barack Obama
Preceded by James Connaughton
Succeeded by Michael Boots
Personal details
Born (1962-04-20) April 20, 1962
New York City, New York, United States
Political party Democratic Party
Alma mater Cornell University
Harvard University

Nancy Helen Sutley[1] led the White House Council on Environmental Quality.[2] She was confirmed by the United States Senate through unanimous consent January 22, 2009.[1] In her role as chair, she serves as the principal environmental policy advisor to the president. The Council on Environmental Quality coordinates federal environmental efforts and works with agencies other than White House offices in the development of environmental policies and initiatives.

Prior to being confirmed by the Senate to lead the CEQ, Sutley served as deputy mayor for Energy and Environment in Los Angeles, California, and as Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa's appointment to the board of directors for the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California.[3] Mayor Villaraigosa turned to her to achieve his goal of transforming L.A. into one of the greenest big cities in America. As a result, Sutley retrofitted 500 of the city's oldest buildings to make them more energy efficient and imposed environmental standards on new large communities.

Sutley has committed more than 20 years to protecting public health and the environment and to energy and climate change issues. She has also devoted much of her career to public service.

Sutley has announced that she will step down as Chair of the Council on Environmental Quality in February, 2014. [4]


  • Education and early career 1
  • Previous work 2
  • Major accomplishments 3
  • References 4
  • External links 5

Education and early career

Sutley was born April 20, 1962 in New York and was raised in Queens, New York.[5] Her parents came to the United States from Argentina in search of a better life, something that shaped her values of hard work and the importance to giving back to the community. She holds a master of public policy from the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University, and an undergraduate B.A. degree in government from Cornell University.[3] During the Clinton Administration, she was an Environmental Protection Agency official, and served as special assistant to the EPA administrator in Washington, D.C. Sutley was the first prominent gay person named to a senior role in the Obama administration.[1]

Previous work

Sutley served as a member of Hillary Clinton's Southern California Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender steering committee.[5] She was also a prominent supporter of Senator Clinton's primary campaign. In addition, she supported a requirement for Los Angeles to produce 20 percent of its power from renewable sources. From 1999 to 2003, she worked as deputy secretary for policy and intergovernmental relations at the California Environmental Protection Agency. She furthered her environmental career as a member of the California State Water Resources Control Board and as the top energy advisor to former Governor Gray Davis.[6]

Major accomplishments

Sutley is a member of the Los Angeles Metropolitan Water District board of directors. She has promoted measures to conserve energy in the White House, which include installing low-flush toilets, adding sensors that automatically turn off lights in unused areas, and introducing the use of recycling bins. The CEQ chair defines her mission as translating Obama's green agenda across government agencies, preserving natural heritage sites such as the Chesapeake Bay, the Everglades, and the Great Lakes, and putting science at the heart of decision-making.[7] As part of the Department of Energy's demonstration project showing that American solar technologies are available, she has led plans to install solar panels and a solar hot water heater on the roof of the White House.[7]


  1. ^ a b c Phillips, Kate (2009-01-22). "More Obama Cabinet Nominees Confirmed". The New York Times. Retrieved 2009-01-23. 
  2. ^ Sidoti, Liz (2008-12-10). "Dem source: Obama to name environmental figure". Associated Press. Retrieved 2008-12-13. 
  3. ^ a b Nancy Sutley
  4. ^ White House Enviro Council Chairwoman Sutley Stepping Down (National Journal article)
  5. ^ a b No author listed. "The New Team: Nancy Sutley". The New York Times. Retrieved 2010-10-06. 
  6. ^ No author listed (2008-12-13). "Nancy Sutley". The New York Times. Retrieved 2011-02-16. 
  7. ^ a b Goldenberg, Suzanne (2009-06-02). "Profile: Nancy Sutley". London: The New York Times. Retrieved 2011-02-22. 

External links

  • Biography on White House website
  • Appearances on C-SPAN
Political offices
Preceded by
James Connaughton
Chairperson of the Council on Environmental Quality
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