INDIANAPOLIS -- Janet McCabe, director of the Indiana University Environmental Resilience Institute and a professor of practice at the IU Robert H. McKinney School of Law at IUPUI, has been confirmed by the United States Senate as deputy administrator of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.
The Senate voted today to confirm McCabe as President Joe Biden's pick to serve in the No. 2 position at the agency, where she'll join an administration that has pledged aggressive action on tackling the climate crisis.
McCabe previously served as acting assistant administrator of the Office of Air and Radiation at the EPA under the Obama administration from July 2013 to January 2017 and as principal deputy in that office from 2009 to 2013. She has also been air director at the Indiana Department of Environmental Management, and she has held other environmental policy and management positions at IDEM and in Massachusetts.
"I'm honored to be returning to the EPA as deputy administrator and grateful to have had the opportunity to be a part of the Environmental Resilience Institute and to teach the next generation of environmental lawyers at Indiana University these last four years," McCabe said. "I look forward to supporting the amazing EPA career staff in protecting public health and the environment around the country.
"The same challenges faced by farmers, businesses and communities in Indiana are also felt across the country. In my new role, I'll take with me the valuable lessons I've learned building a broad, bipartisan coalition to protect Indiana's economy and Hoosiers' health from the risks of environmental change. Just like in Indiana, these issues are critical to the long-term prosperity of the nation."
"Janet is truly one of Indiana University's top scholars and researchers, who has burnished her academic reputation with many achievements as a dedicated public servant at the state and federal levels," IU President Michael A. McRobbie said. "We cannot thank her enough for the contributions she has made to our world-class community of scholars, and we are enormously grateful for her leadership of the Prepared for Environmental Change Grand Challenge initiative, which is helping to ensure that our state and our nation are ready for and resilient to the negative impacts of global environmental change.
"On behalf of the Indiana University community, I want to congratulate Janet on her well-deserved confirmation to this important administrative post, and we look forward to her putting her talents, wisdom, experience and energy to work on behalf of citizens across our nation."
The Environmental Resilience Institute will announce leadership succession in the coming days.
"We owe an extraordinary debt of gratitude to Janet for her leadership of IU's Prepared for Environmental Change Grand Challenge," IU Vice President for Research Fred H. Cate said. "Janet's expertise and leadership have been critical to addressing environmental challenges and establishing the Environmental Resilience Institute as one of the nation's leading sources of environmental data and research. Her unique ability to develop strong collaborative partnerships has been critical at IU and will help her succeed at the EPA in delivering solutions to the environmental challenges we increasingly face as a nation."
McCabe was named director of the Environmental Resilience Institute in August 2019. Since its establishment under the Prepared for Environmental Change initiative in 2017, the Environmental Resilience Institute has made great strides advancing environmental health in Indiana. These accomplishments include:
- Empowering Indiana teachers with tools to help students understand climate change through Educating for Environmental Change. The collaboration between IU faculty, K-12 educators and the WonderLab Museum of Science, Health and Technology won the 2020 Governor's Award for Environmental Excellence for "extraordinary initiatives in protecting the environment."
- Working with staff at 11 local governments across Indiana to prepare Climate Action Plans through the Resilience Cohort Program, which will move from planning to implementation this year.
- Conducting interdisciplinary research and published studies on topics such as pandemic-related utility shut-offs for people of color and the effects of migratory bird patterns on disease transmission.
- Launching the ERI Data Platform, which helps researchers from diverse disciplines "connect the dots" to investigate the effects of environmental change.
- Unveiling "The State of Nature," an exhibit at the Grunwald Gallery connecting visual art and natural artifacts to explore Indiana's natural history.
About the Prepared for Environmental Change initiative
The Indiana University Prepared for Environmental Change Grand Challenge initiative brings together a broad, bipartisan coalition of government, business, nonprofit and community leaders to help Indiana better prepare for the challenges that environmental changes bring to our economy, health, and livelihood. Announced in May 2017, Prepared for Environmental Change is working to deliver tailored and actionable solutions to communities across the state of Indiana.
IU's world-class researchers have driven innovation and creative initiatives that matter for 200 years. From curing testicular cancer to collaborating with NASA to search for life on Mars, IU has earned its reputation as a world-class research institution. Supported by $854 million last year from our partners, IU researchers are building collaborations and uncovering new solutions that improve lives in Indiana and around the globe.