President Obama nominates Paul Anastas, MS’87, PhD’90, to EPA post

He picks 'Father of Green Chemistry' to be the next assistant administrator for Office of Research and Development

Paul Anastas

Paul Anastas, MS’87, PhD’90, is President Obama's pick for a key post in the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. The Teresa and H. John Heinz III Professor in the Practice of Chemistry for the Environment at Yale University is the president's choice to be the next assistant administrator at the Office of Research and Development.

"I am tremendously honored," Anastas told BrandeisNOW. "Excellent science is at the core of EPA's important mission."

Anastas would know, as he's worked there before. He joined the EPA’s Office of Prevention, Pesticides and Toxic Substances in 1989 as chief of the industrial chemistry branch.

Since earning his master’s degree and doctorate in organic chemistry from Brandeis, Anastas has been recognized both nationally and internationally for contributions to science and the environment. He is considered the founder of the “green chemistry” movement, a field of scientific innovation designed to meet environmental and economic goals.

He credits his education at Brandeis, and specifically the relationship he formed with chemistry professor Robert Stevenson, for helping to lay the foundation for his distinguished career.

"I had a great mentor in Professor Stevenson," Anastas said. "Every student should be as lucky as I was to have such tremendous guidance, training and personal support."

This would not be Anastas' first time working for the White House. From 1999 to 2004, he served in the Office of Science and Technology Policy in the Executive Office of the President, finishing his tenure as the assistant director for environment.

Today, Anastas serves as the director of the Yale Center for Green Chemistry and Green Engineering.

He has written numerous scholarly articles and authored and edited 10 books on the subject of science for environmental protection.

For more about Anastas and his work, click here to download a PDF copy of the Winter 2007 edition of Catalyst magazine.

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