This past week, President-elect Joe Biden picked Brenda Mallory to lead the Environmental Quality Council, putting her in a position to coordinate government-wide initiatives that will mitigate climate change and encourage sustainable development. Her selection comes at the heels of several other picks Biden has made as he assembles his cabinet and team that will carry out the entirety of his agenda.
What does the council do?
According to the New York Times, The Environmental Quality Council is “a division of the office of the president, and plays a behind-the-scenes role in federal environmental policy.” The council’s main role is the coordination of government-led initiatives and often works in concordance with the larger agencies like the Interior Department or the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).
Brenda Mallory currently serves as the director of regulatory policy at the Southern Environmental Law Center and has worked on issues ranging from pollution to land conservation. She is also a graduate of Yale University and Columbia Law School, and has spent over 15 years at various positions within the Environmental Protection Agency. Under the Obama administration, where she had the role of general counsel, she pioneered efforts that created new national monuments.
Moreover, she also helped lead The Climate 21 Project, which has given recommendations and guidelines for how the government can address climate change effectively, which lines in with the ideals of the Council on Environmental Quality as they stated that “[the council] is best suited to elevate environmental justice to the White House and to lead the agenda on climate change resilience.”