US EPA Names New Science Advisor, Glenn Paulson

by Duane Nichols on May 1, 2012

Glenn Paulson

EPA administrator Lisa Jackson reported that Glenn Paulson will “soon begin” his new job as the EPA Science Advisor, announced on April 24th. Paulson, who recently served as associate dean for research at the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey’s (UMDNJ) School of Public Health, succeeds Paul Anastas.

When the Obama administration nominated Anastas – who is known as the “father of green chemistry” – as the EPA’s science adviser in May 2009, he had to undergo Senate confirmation because of his simultaneous appointment as head of the agency’s Office of Research and Development (ORD). The process became politicised and was seriously delayed. Louisiana’s Senator David Vitter blocked Anastas’ nomination over unrelated formaldehyde politics, and it was not until February 2010 that he finally started work. Anastas left the position about two years later to return to Yale University and direct its Center for Green Chemistry and Green Engineering.

Paulson will only serve as the EPA’s science adviser, which allows him to be appointed without the Senate’s blessing. An acting chief of ORD is already in place. Given the central place that science holds in the EPA’s decisions and actions, Dr Paulson will play an important role in the work ahead, Jackson said. “He brings with him years of experience in science and policy issues, extraordinary performance in multiple fields and an unwavering dedication to the integrity that defines this agency’s scientific work.”

Paulson’s career highlights include serving as assistant commissioner for science at the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection and directing the Natural Resources Defense Council’s (NRDC) scientific support program. In addition, Paulson has founded his own environmental and energy consulting firm. The American Chemical Council, an industry affiliated organization, says it’s committed to working with Paulson to ensure that sound science is the foundation for the EPA’s decision-making regarding chemicals.

Source: Article by Rebecca Trager of the Royal Society of Chemistry on April 27th.

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