Lisa Jackson, head of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), announced today that she has picked Glenn Paulson to be her science adviser. Paulson will replace Paul Anastas, who returned to Yale University in February. "I'm very positive about Glenn; he's superb," says public health expert Bernard Goldstein of the University of Pittsburgh Graduate School of Public Health in Pennsylvania.
Paulson received a Ph.D. in environmental science in 1971 before joining the Natural Resources Defense Council to work on air and water pollution issues. He spent several years at the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection, where he was the primary author of the state's Superfund law. Most recently, Paulson was associate dean for research and professor of environmental and occupational health at the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey, a position he left about a year ago to return home to Wyoming.
Jackson's memo to her staff members says that Paulson will begin the job soon. Anastas, in contrast, had to cool his heels for several months because of a hold that was placed on his Senate confirmation to lead EPA's Office of Research and Development (ORD). Paulson will wear only the hat of science adviser, with Lek Kadeli remaining as acting head of ORD.
That division of duties makes sense to Goldstein, a former ORD administrator. He says it will allow the science advisor to focus on providing input on policy issues demanding Jackson's attention. "The administrator should have someone sitting at her elbow listening to what she needs."