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N.O. native Vicki Arroyo named to top EPA position in Biden administration

Arroyo is a Lakeview native and Ben Franklin High School graduate who serves as director of Georgetown University's Climate Center
Credit: Georgetown University Climate Center
Vicki Arroyo

New Orleans native Vicki Arroyo has been named a top official at the Environmental Protection Agency in President Joe Biden's administration.

Arroyo, who grew up in Lakeview and graduated from Hynes Elementary and Ben Franklin High School, will serve as Associate Administrator of Policy for the EPA.

She was sworn in with other members of Biden's team in a virtual ceremony on Wednesday, the day he took office.

Since 2008, Arroyo has been executive director of Georgetown University's Climate Center, a federal and state policy resource she established within the university's Law Center. It is designed to help states and cities prepare for climate change. 

In her position, she recently provided policy recommendations to the Biden-Harris team on sustainable energy and transportation policies.

She is also a Professor from Practice and a Special Advisor to the President of Georgetown University.

Arroyo holds an undergraduate degree from Emory University in biology, a Masters in Public Administration from Harvard and a law degree from Georgetown.

Previously, Arroyo served at the Pew Center on Global Climate Change as Vice President for Policy Analysis and General Counsel where she directed Pew’s policy analysis, science, adaptation, economics and U.S. policy programs for a decade.

She previously served in two offices at EPA, the Office of Air and Radiation and the Office of Research and Development, where she reviewed development of standards under the Clean Air Act. 

She was recently Chair of the Executive Committee of the Transportation Research Board of the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine and has served on numerous other boards and committees advising the National Science Foundation, the National Center for Atmospheric Research, the U.S. Energy Information Administration, and the California Air Resources Board.

Arroyo is the second Ben Franklin High School graduate to be appointed to the Biden administration. Congressman Cedric Richmond serves as a senior adviser and the White House's Director of the Office of Public Engagement.

Arroyo's sister, Beth Arroyo Utterback, the general manager of radio station WWOZ, said her sister has had a lifelong passion for environmental issues.

“I remember my parents driving Vicki to public meetings on the environment for years before she was old enough to drive herself," Utterback said. "This has been her lifelong passion and I am so proud of my incredible sister."

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