GCEP Research Symposium 2008
Mary Nichols, Chair of the California Air Resources Board
Mary D. Nichols was appointed by Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger as Chair of the California Air Resources Board in July 2007. She returns to the Air Board 30 years after serving as the Chair under Governor Jerry Brown from 1978 to 1983.
Nichols has devoted her entire career in public and private, not-for-profit service to advocating for the environment and public health. In addition to her work at the Air Board, she has held a number of positions, including: assistant administrator for the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's Air and Radiation program under the Clinton Administration, Secretary for California's Resources Agency from 1999 to 2003, and Director of the University of California, Los Angeles Institute of the Environment.
As one of California's first environmental lawyers, she initiated precedent-setting test cases under the Federal Clean Air Act and California air quality laws while practicing as a staff attorney for the Center for Law in the Public Interest. Nichols holds a Juris Doctorate degree from Yale Law School and a Bachelor of Arts degree from Cornell University.
In her return as Chair, Nichols' priorities include moving the state's landmark climate change program ahead, as well as steering the Board through numerous efforts to curb diesel pollution at ports, and continuing to pass regulations aimed at providing cleaner air for Southern California and the San Joaquin Valley. She values innovation, partnerships and common-sense approaches to addressing the state's air issues.