Biography of Christine Todd Whitman
Christine Todd Whitman has spent a distinguished career in public service working to improve the lives of all Americans. She currently serves as Administrator of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, where she has pledged to leave America's air cleaner, water purer, and land better protected than when she took office with the Bush Administration in January 2001.
Since being sworn in, Administrator Whitman has taken many steps to protect human health and safeguard the natural environment. Among the noteworthy achievements of her first two years in office were the introduction of President Bush's Clear Skies Initiative to ensure clean air for all Americans to breathe; the establishment of a watershed based approach to protecting our Nation's lakes, streams, and rivers; and the passage of landmark brownfields legislation that is already bringing economic and environmental vitality back to neighborhoods marred by abandoned industrial sites.
Administrator Whitman believes strongly that economic success and environmental progress must go hand in hand. She has advanced toward these two goals by encouraging a number of public-private partnerships and market-based techniques that deliver real results. Programs such as Climate Leaders, Energy Star, SmartWay Transport, and the new Water Quality Trading Policy encourage - and achieve - voluntary actions from governments, corporations, small businesses, and non-profit groups.
Under Administrator Whitman's leadership, the EPA has also undertaken aggressive efforts to fulfill its mission by cleaning up the Hudson River, protecting children from environmental health hazards such as asthma and sun exposure, and requiring cleaner burning diesel engines and lower-sulfur diesel fuel to reduce emissions from America's dirtiest mobile sources.
Prior to leading the EPA, Administrator Whitman served as the 50th Governor of New Jersey - the first female ever to hold that position. As governor, Whitman delivered on the same promise she made when becoming EPA Administrator, to provide cleaner air, water and land to the citizens of New Jersey during her seven years in the statehouse.
Under her environmental leadership, the number of days New Jersey violated the federal one-hour air quality standard for ground level ozone dropped from 45 in 1988 to four in 2000. Beach closings reached a record low, the state earned recognition by the Natural Resources Defense Council for instituting the most comprehensive beach monitoring system in the nation, and a new watershed management program was instituted which resulted in New Jersey leading the nation in opening shellfish beds for harvesting.
Governor Whitman also won voter approval for the state's first stable funding source to preserve one million more acres of open space and farmland. By 2010, New Jersey - the most densely populated state in the country - will have permanently preserved 40 percent of its total landmass.
Prior to becoming governor, Whitman headed the New Jersey Board of Public Utilities and the Somerset County Board of Freeholders. She grew up in Hunterdon County, N.J. and earned a bachelor's degree in government from Wheaton College in Massachusetts in 1968. She is married to John R. Whitman and has two children.