The History of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
November 9, 2017
NYU Washington, DC's fall course, "History of American Environmental Policy," and the NYU Department of Environmental Studies hosted a discussion with three recently retired executives from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).
With nearly 100 years of combined experience at the Agency, these individuals helped to establish the country’s primary institution for environmental protection and reflected on the ways the Agency has changed over its nearly 50 years of operation.
Meet the Panel
Daniel Fiorino; Former Director of the National Environmental Performance Track, EPA
Dan is the Director of the Center for Environmental Policy and Distinguished Executive in Residence in the School of Public Affairs at American University. As faculty member in the Department of Public Administration and Policy, he teaches courses on environmental policy, energy and climate change, environmental sustainability, and public management. Dan is the author or co-author of seven books and some fifty articles and book chapters. His most recent books are A Good Life on a Finite Earth: The Political Economy of Green Growth (Oxford University Press, 2018) and Conceptual Innovation in Environmental Policy (with James Meadowcroft, MIT Press, 2017). MIT Press also published the second edition of Environmental Governance Reconsidered (with Robert F. Durant and Rosemary O’Leary) in 2017. His book, The New Environmental Regulation, won the Brownlow Award of the National Academy of Public Administration (NAPA) for “excellence in public administration literature” in 2007. Altogether his publications have received nine national and international awards from the American Society for Public Administration, Policy Studies Organization, Academy of Management, and NAPA. His recent refereed journal articles were on the supply chain management as private sector regulation in Business Strategy and the Environment (2016, with Manjyot Bhan), the role of sustainability in governance in Public Administration Review (2010); explanations for differences in national environmental performance in Policy Sciences (2011); and innovation in renewable energy in Policy Studies Journal (2013). Dan joined American University in 2009 after a career at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).
Among his positions at EPA were the Associate Director of the Office of Policy Analysis, Director of the Waste and Chemicals Policy Division, Senior Advisor to the Assistant Administrator for Policy, and the Director of the National Environmental Performance Track. The Performance Track program was selected as one of the top 50 innovations in American government 2006 and recognized by Administrator Christine Todd Whitman with an EPA Silver Medal in 2002. In 1993, he received EPA’s Lee M. Thomas Award for Management Excellence. Dan is a Fellow of the National Academy of Public Administration.
Dan has a Ph.D. and MA in Political Science from Johns Hopkins University; and a BA in Political Science and Minor in Economics from Youngstown State University.
Odelia Funke; Former Manager and Program Analyst, EPA
Dr. Funke worked at the Environmental Protection Agency for over 34 years as a manager, senior analyst and advisor, addressing a wide variety of environmental and information policy issues in several offices (Information, Toxins and Policy).
Before joining EPA, she was an assistant professor of political science, teaching graduate and undergraduate courses in political theory and government, and subsequently taught and lectured at several universities on environmental politics and ethics, women and politics, government, and privacy during her EPA tenure. She has published peer reviewed articles and book chapters and written conference papers on biopolicy, environmental policy, environmental security, health policy and privacy, bioterrorism, and political theory. She spent a year as an Executive in Residence at American University’s Center for Environmental Policy and a year as analyst/policy advisor to the Director at the Army Environmental Policy Institute.
Odelia holds a Ph.D. and MA from the University of Virginia.
Art Koines; Former Manager and Program Analyst, EPA
Over the course of his 37-year career with the Federal government, Art earned the respect of executives and technical staff alike for his clarity of thought, creativity and passion for improving program decision making and results. As a journeyman policy analyst at EPA, he mastered the science and policy issues surrounding uses of human health risk assessment in environmental management decisions. Art’s work contributed directly to the adoption of risk assessment as a program targeting tool among regional, state and local planners with whom he worked. As a senior planner, Art led EPA’s first efforts to develop environmental goals and performance measures under the Government Performance and Results Act.
Throughout his career Art has resolved cutting-edge issues in order to mainstream new ideas, policies and practices. He authored EPA’s Information Access Strategy, based on the findings from the National Dialogue on Access to Environmental Information, an unprecedented, six-month outreach effort to over one thousand EPA stakeholders. Art led the National Dialogue, by far the largest effort ever undertaken by EPA to understand the needs of its public information audiences. He led EPA’s Big Decisions initiative, a revealing look by EPA’s top career officials at the likely adverse effects of incomplete information on the quality of major regulatory decisions confronting EPA over the following several years. His ability to assimilate widely divergent views led to the timely completion of a highly credible product. Art’s effective communication of the results of Big Decisions contributed directly to a shift in EPA’s IT planning orientation -- away from traditional discussion of system hardware and software needs and toward the bottom line: information needs for better decisions and results.
He piloted a variety of regional, state and local risk planning studies to help government officials set their environmental priorities. He employed a similar approach while on special assignment to the Agency for International Development and World Bank to advise local officials on environmental priorities for the Czech and Polish border region of Silesia. Art trained dozens of Eastern European environmental managers and scientists in the use of risk assessment as a policy, planning and program decision making tool.
Art holds an MA in Economics. For the past 22 years, he has taught courses in a Master’s program in Environmental Science and Policy at Johns Hopkins University.
The New York University (NYU) program of study encourages student mobility among the University’s three main campuses (New York City, Abu Dhabi, Shanghai) and twelve academic centers. Instruction and curricula at each campus/center is designed to introduce students to aspects of the host locale. It is critical that students studying at NYU’s Washington Center be exposed to activities, resources, and people that are unique to Washington, DC, both as a city and as the center of U.S. federal government and policy.