Michael Regan, EPA Administrator, Born (1976)

For the second time, an African American is leading the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.  The first African American Administrator of the EPA was Lisa Jackson, who served under President Obama (learn more about her here).  The second, and current, Administrator is Michael Regan.

Michael S. Regan was born in Goldsboro, North Carolina, on August 6, 1976.  His mother was a nurse and his father, a Vietnam veteran, spent a career in the North Carolina National Guard and also served as an agricultural extension agent.  Regan grew up hunting and fishing with his father and grandfather, experiences that gave him the impetus for a career as an environmentalist.

Michael s. Regan (photo by EPA)

He graduated with a B.S. in 1998 from North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University with a major in earth and environmental science.  He immediately went to work for the EPA in North Carolina, serving for a decade and rising to lead programs on air pollution reduction and energy efficiency.  He went on to work for the Environmental Defense Fund from 2008 to 2013.  He eventually became the Associate Vice President of U.S. Climate and Energy for the EDF.  He left there and opened his own consulting firm.  While working, he earned a Master of Public Administration from George Washington University.

In 2017, he was appointed Secretary of the North Carolina Department of Environmental Quality.  While secretary, he negotiated several high-profile pollution cases, including a settlement with Duke Energy to remediate coal-ash wastes at a cost to the company of more than $1 billion.  He also created an Environmental Justice and Equity Advisory board to address long-standing issues related to environment blight in African American communities.

Regan left his position as secretary in 2021 to become EPA Administrator under President Biden.  He was approved by the U.S. Senate 66-34, the bi-partisan endorsement fostered by North Carolina’s two Republican senators.


Influencewatch.  Michael S. Regan.  Available at:  https://www.influencewatch.org/person/michael-s-regan/. Accessed January 19, 2023.

North Carolina Department f Environmental Quality.  Michael S. Regan.  Available at:  https://deq.nc.gov/about/leadership/michael-s-regan. Accessed January 19, 2023.

US Environmental Protection Agency.  EPA Administrator Michael S. Regan.  Available at:  https://www.epa.gov/aboutepa/epa-administrator.  Accessed January 19, 2023.

This Month in Conservation

February 1
Afobaka Dam and Operation Gwamba (1964)
February 2
Groundhog Day
February 3
Spencer Fullerton Baird, First U.S. Fish Commissioner, Born (1823)
February 3
George Adamson, African Lion Rehabilitator, Born (1906)
February 4
Congress Overrides President Reagan’s Veto of Clean Water Act (1987)
February 5
National Wildlife Federation Created (1936)
February 6
Colin Murdoch, Inventor of the Tranquilizer Gun, Born (1929)
February 7
Karl August Mobius, Ecology Pioneer, Born (1825)
February 8
President Johnson Addresses Congress about Conservation (1965)
February 8
Lisa Perez Jackson, Environmental Leader, Born (1982)
February 9
U.S. Fish Commission Created (1871)
February 10
Frances Moore Lappe, author of Diet for a Small Planet, born (1944)
February 11
International Day of Women and Girls in Science
February 12
Judge Boldt Affirms Native American Fishing Rights (1974)
February 13
Thomas Malthus Born (1766)
February 14
Nature’s Faithful Lovers
February 15
Complete Human Genome Published (2001)
February 16
Kyoto Protocol, Controlling Greenhouse-Gas Emissions, Begins (2005)
February 16
Alvaro Ugalde, Father of Costa Rica’s National Parks, Born (1946)
February 17
Sombath Somphone, Laotian Environmentalist, Born (1952)
February 17
R. A. Fischer, Statistician, Born (1890)
February 18
World Pangolin Day
February 18
Julia Butterfly Hill, Tree-Sitter, Born (1974)
February 19
Lincoln Boyhood National Memorial Established (1962)
February 20
Ansel Adams, Nature Photographer, Born (1902)
February 21
Carolina Parakeet Goes Extinct (1918)
February 22
Nile Day
February 23
Italy’s Largest Inland Oil Spill (2010)
February 24
Joseph Banks, British Botanist, Born (1743)
February 25
First Federal Timber Act Passed (1799)
February 26
Four National Parks Established (1917-1929)
February 27
International Polar Bear Day
February 28
Watson and Crick Discover The Double Helix (1953)
February 29
Nature’s Famous Leapers
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