Fordham Law

President Obama Nominates Michelle J. DePass '92 for EPA Post

March 20, 2009

On March 18, 2009, President Obama nominated Michelle J. DePass '92 for the post of Assistant Administrator for International Affairs at the Environmental Protection Agency.

Currently a program officer at the Ford Foundation, where she manages the foundation’s initiative on Environmental Justice and Healthy Communities, DePass concentrates on the environmental and social justice intersections in the United States and supporting transnational linkages that support environmental justice policies and practices.
She taught federal environmental law and policy at the City University of New York, developed and administered a bi-state workforce development training program for disadvantaged youth on superfund waste sites, and served as executive director of the New York City Environmental Justice Alliance. In this position, she assisted communities and community organizations in their negotiations with government agencies, implemented advocacy campaigns and co-organized the Northeast Environmental Justice Network.

Subsequently, she served as Assistant to the City Manager of San Jose, California, advising on environmental policy matters, and served as an Environmental Compliance Manager for the City of San Jose. After completing a term with the Center for Constitutional Rights in New York as a William Kunstler Racial Justice Fellow, DePass joined the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection where she was Senior Policy Advisor to the Commissioner. In that position, she developed a framework for an Environmental Justice Order that required the use of public health data to identify communities for priority compliance, enforcement, remediation, siting and permitting action.

In addition to a J.D. from Fordham Law, DePass holds a B.A. in Political Science from Tufts University and a Master of Public Administration from Baruch College's School of Public Affairs.


Contact: Carrie Johnson