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News & Events for the Smith College Community
Events January 21, 2021

National Climate Advisor Gina McCarthy to Speak

Gina McCarthy headshot

Gina McCarthy—President Joe Biden’s nominee to the post of National Climate Advisor, and former president of the Natural Resources Defense Council—will deliver a Presidential Colloquium on “Climate Change and Social Justice: Strategies for Meaningful Progress” at 7 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 9.

The event is open to the public at no charge, and no tickets are required. Members of the campus community are invited to participate via Zoom; members of the general public may join via a livestream on Smith’s Facebook page.

The presentation—pre-recorded in mid-January 2021—features McCarthy in conversation with Smith students and faculty members Natalie Baillargeon ’21; Alex Barron, assistant professor of environmental science and policy; Niveen Ismail, assistant professor of engineering; Storm Lewis ’21; and Denise McKahn, associate professor of engineering and faculty director of CEEDS (moderator). President McCartney will provide a live introduction.

About Gina McCarthy

One of the nation’s most respected voices on the environment and public health, Gina McCarthy is President Joe Biden’s nominee to head the White House Office of Domestic Climate Policy, making her the United States’ first national climate adviser.

She previously served as president and CEO of the Natural Resources Defense Council, a non-profit environmental advocacy group. In this role, she provided leadership for the organization’s staff of more than 700 attorneys, scientists, advocates and policy experts.

From 2013 to 2017, McCarthy served as administrator of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency under President Barack Obama. During her tenure, McCarthy finalized the Clean Power Plan, which set the first national standards to reduce greenhouse gas emissions for fossil-fuel fired power plants. Under her leadership, the EPA also finalized the Clean Water Rule to protect rivers and streams that provide drinking water for 117 million Americans.

During 35 years of public service in both Republican and Democratic administrations, McCarthy dedicated herself to environmental protection and public health. Her leadership and perseverance led to federal, state and local actions on critical environmental issues. McCarthy’s significant accomplishments include action to advance environmental, clean energy, public transportation and public health goals consistent with a growing economy in New England and across the United States.

About Smith’s Presidential Colloquium Series

The Presidential Colloquium regularly features influential thought leaders in a wide range of fields—from poets and writers to economists and policy experts—to share their expertise, offer insights and inspire discourse on key social, political and global topics that call for our attention. Lectures are free and open to the public.

This year’s upcoming Presidential Colloquia will feature historian Jill Lepore, attorney/activist Bryan Stevenson and political philosopher Michael Sandel, among others. All events are virtual in 2021 and are open to the public at no charge; details and registration information are available online.