The U.S. Senate on Thursday confirmed UMass Boston alumna Gina McCarthy as the next administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency, more than four months after she was nominated by President Barack Obama.
McCarthy, a Dorchester native and 1976 graduate of UMass Boston, has led the EPA’s Office of Air and Radiation for the past four years. Before that, she held key environmental jobs in Connecticut under Gov. Jodi Rell and in Massachusetts for five governors, from Michael Dukakis to Mitt Romney.
“Our community is extraordinarily proud and not at all surprised that one of our talented alumni has achieved such a high office,” Chancellor J. Keith Motley said. “We look forward to Gina’s further accomplishments with the EPA.”
McCarthy was first nominated March 4. She has earned respect from environmentalists and energy executives alike, but her appointment was in doubt throughout the spring as a sharply divided Senate quibbled over many of President Obama’s nominees. A deal struck earlier the week allowed the chamber to move on several stalled nominations, including McCarthy’s.
During nearly 30 years in public service, McCarthy has developed a reputation as a straight shooter able to work with politicians for both sides of the aisle. She says her time at UMass Boston taught her to “relish diversity.”
“This university gave me everything I needed to know about attitude, and that is what has taken me everywhere I’ve ever gone," she says.