President Obama on Monday announced his selection of Gina McCarthy, the Environmental Protection Agency’s assistant administrator for the Office of Air and Radiation, to head EPA. Here are a few things you should know about McCarthy:
- She’s a tough-talking and enthusiastic Bostonian. McCarthy, who hails from Dorchester, Mass., is Irish Catholic and speaks with a pronounced Boston accent. The approach she’s taken to her work at EPA earned her the nickname “Obama’s green quarterback” from some environmentalists.
McCarthy once described in a speech getting to yell “Play ball!” at a Red Sox game. “Now, there’s nothing cooler than that,” she said. “I did it with real gusto. Should I do it again? Play balllll!” (McCarthy is also is known for her sense of humor.)
The former degree may seem less relevant to her current post than the latter. “People ask me why did social anthropology prepare you for the work that you’re doing in government? Well, everyone who asked me that, I wondered if they had ever been in the Massachusetts Legislature, whether they had ever been in the Connecticut Legislature, and whether they had ever visited Congress recently, because it is a primitive society into itself,” McCarthy joked. But really, she said, it taught her to “relish diversity.”
On the other hand, McCarthy is popular with environmentalists, and she even has support within the energy industry, including from groups that don’t tend to see eye to eye with EPA.