EPA deputy leaving to head environmental think tank

Deputy EPA administrator Bob Perciasepe has announced that he is leaving the Environmental Protection Agency to become president of Center for Climate and Energy Solutions (C2ES).

C2ES announced the hire in a July 17 news release. Perciasepe, 63, will start as C2ES president on Aug. 11.

Perciasepe was appointed by President Obama in 2009 as the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Deputy Administrator. He has a career spanning about four decades as a leading environmental and public policy figure, according to the EPA website. He also led the EPA briefly on an interim basis in the Obama administration following the departure of Lisa Jackson.

Perciasepe, who has spent more than 30 years as an environmental policy leader in and outside government, will succeed Eileen Claussen, the center’s founding president.

Claussen, who held senior posts at the State Department, National Security Council, and EPA before launching C2ES, said last fall she planned to leave the job to explore teaching and writing.

“I’m honored and excited to be taking the helm of an organization that’s done so much to build common ground for practical climate and energy solutions,” Perciasepe said. “Throughout my career, I’ve worked to bring diverse interests together to protect both our environment and our economy. I’m eager to continue that work at C2ES at such a critical time, when we have both the opportunity and obligation to forge lasting climate solutions.”

Launched in 2011, C2ES is an independent, nonprofit, nonpartisan organization promoting strong policy and action to address the twin challenges of energy and climate change. C2ES is the successor to the Pew Center on Global Climate Change, long recognized in the United States and abroad as a pragmatic voice on climate issues.

He served as a top EPA official in the administration of President Bill Clinton, who appointed him, first, to serve as the nation’s top water official and later as the senior official responsible for air quality across the United States.

Perciasepe has also worked as COO at the National Audubon Society. He has also held top positions within state and municipal government, including as Secretary of the Environment for the State of Maryland and as a senior official for the City of Baltimore.

EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy called Perciasepe “a true friend and a cherished colleague… With his departure, EPA is losing its longest serving deputy – but more importantly a leader who poured his heart, soul and decades of experience into the agency’s mission every day.”

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Wayne Barber, Chief Analyst for the GenerationHub, has been covering power generation, energy and natural resources issues at national publications for more than 20 years. Prior to joining PennWell he was editor of Generation Markets Week at SNL Financial for nine years. He has also worked as a business journalist at both McGraw-Hill and Financial Times Energy. Wayne also worked as a newspaper reporter for several years. During his career has visited nuclear reactors and coal mines as well as coal and natural gas power plants. Wayne can be reached at wayneb@pennwell.com.