AMHERST, Mass. – Gina McCarthy, administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency under former President Barack Obama, will give the keynote address to the North East Graduate Student Water Symposium (NEGSWS) on Sunday, Sept. 10 at 11 a.m. in the Engineering Lab II auditorium at the University of Massachusetts Amherst. The event is free and open to the public.
McCarthy’s talk is titled, “Water, Water Everywhere but Not a Drop to Drink: Protecting Public Health and the Environment in Uncertain Times.” McCarthy is currently serving as a senior fellow at the Institute of Politics at Harvard and as a Menschel Senior Leadership Fellow at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health.
The NEGSWS is being held Sept. 8-10 at the UMass Amherst College of Engineering. It is organized and hosted primarily by graduate students and is designed to provide an affordable conference in the greater Northeast region for graduate students in water-related disciplines. The symposium is centered around the theme of research advances in water engineering, resources, science and policy. This event is an opportunity for graduate student researchers to present current research, exchange ideas, network and interact with industry and government professionals in the water sector.
McCarthy served as EPA administrator in the Obama administration from July 2013 to January 2017. In 2009, she was appointed by Obama as the assistant administrator for the Office of Air and Radiation. She previously served as the commissioner of the Connecticut Department of Environmental Protection. McCarthy has also worked in both Republican and Democratic administrations in Massachusetts.
She earned a bachelor’s degree in social anthropology from UMass Boston and a master’s degree in environmental health engineering and planning and policy from Tufts University.
Sponsors of the symposium from UMass Amherst include the environmental and water resources engineering program, School of Public Policy, School of Earth and Sustainability, Political Economy Research Institute, College of Engineering, department of civil and environmental engineering, department of economics, College of Social and Behavioral Sciences and the College of Natural Sciences.