Lisa Jackson, EPA Administrator
The Environmental Protection Agency is not a cabinet department, but the 17,000-employee agency's head is considered to have a cabinet-level position.
Ms. Jackson, a former EPA scientist who from 2006 until this month ran New Jersey's Department of Environmental Protection, has her work cut out for her. Many observers say that the agency has become demoralized under the current administrator, Stephen Johnson. In February, 19 union leaders representing about 10,000 EPA employees sent a letter to Johnson claiming that he had repeatedly violated the agency's standards of scientific integrity. In April, the Union of Concerned Scientists released the result of a survey that found that 889 of 1,586 staff scientists at the EPA reported that they have experienced political interference in their work in the past five years.
These revelations were followed by Congressional inquiries into whether the agency was improperly influenced by the White House in rulings ranging from ground-level ozone standards to tailpipe emissions.
Many environmentalists are cheered by the prospect of a Jackson-led EPA. The environmental advocacy group Environment New Jersey praised the New Orleans native, calling her selection "180-degree turnaround for the United States on the environment."