As he prepares to take office, President-elect Barack Obama
is relying on a small team of advisers who will lead his transition operation and help choose the members of his administration. Following is part of a series of profiles of potential members of the administration.
Name: Lisa P. Jackson
Being Considered For: Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency
Would bring to the job: Twenty years of experience as an environmental regulator and a reputation as a consensus builder. Ms. Jackson, who is a chemical engineer, brought a more policy-driven approach to New Jersey's historically politicized Department of Environmental Protection as its commissioner. During her 33 months in that job, the state began conducting compliance sweeps to crack down on polluters in environmentally ravaged sections of Camden and Paterson, ended its controversial bear hunt and unveiled a plan to reduce carbon emissions 20 percent by 2020 and 80 percent by 2050.
Is linked to Mr. Obama by: His transition team
. Like her boss, Gov. Jon S. Corzine
, Ms. Jackson supported Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton
over Mr. Obama in the Democratic presidential primaries. Besides making a $1,000 donation to Mrs. Clinton's presidential campaign in 2007, Ms. Jackson was an at-large delegate pledged to Mrs. Clinton; only later in 2008 did she donate $200 to the Obama campaign. Shortly after she was named Mr. Corzine's chief of staff in late October - taking over on Dec. 1, becoming the first woman and first African American to hold the post - she was chosen by President-elect Obama in mid-November to serve on his transition panel for energy and the environment.
In her own words: "When it comes to the auto industry, the E.P.A. apparently is the Emissions Permissions Agency." (Announcing in December 2007 that New Jersey would join other states in suing the Bush administration for its ruling that prevented states from enacting tougher fuel efficiency
standards, a decision she called "a horrendous change of course.")
Used to work as: An administrator in the federal Environmental Protection Agency for 16 years, where her duties included regulating the cleanup of hazardous waste sites under the Superfund program. She also ran various enforcement programs at both the E.P.A. and New Jersey's Department of Environmental Protection, as well as New Jersey's Land Use Management Program.
Carries as baggage: The E.P.A. criticized New Jersey in a recent report for moving too slowly to clean up some toxic waste sites. Some environmentalists also say she caved in to pressure from big business by supporting a plan that would privatize cleanup of hazardous waste sites, and from developers by diluting a proposal to enact stricter groundwater quality standards.
Also known for: Although her tenure at the Department of Environmental Protection involved dealing with an assortment of volatile political issues, Ms. Jackson's measured approach won praise even from those who opposed her decisions; those diplomatic skills led Mr. Corzine to name her his chief of staff.
Biography: Born Feb. 8, 1962, in Philadelphia; adopted a few weeks later and raised in the Ninth Ward in New Orleans. ... first in her class at St. Mary's Dominican High School (she once described her academic career, saying, "I was a straight A' student - a geek basically."). ... graduated summa cum laude from Tulane University
's School of Chemical Engineering and earned a master's in chemical engineering from Princeton University
. ... She lives with her husband, Kenny Jackson, and their two sons in East Windsor, N.J. ... an avid cook, her signature dish - gumbo - is a tribute to her Louisiana roots. ... renowned for her annual Mardi Gras party, which she has not thrown since Hurricane Katrina
devastated her hometown in 2005.