About EPA's Chief of Operations
In his capacity as EPA's Chief of Operations, Henry Darwin is the key advisor to EPA Acting Administrator Andrew Wheeler on day-to-day operations and the leader of the agency’s transformation to an organization of continuous improvement. In July 2018, Acting Administrator Wheeler delegated the responsibilities of the EPA Deputy Administrator to Darwin.
By deploying the EPA Lean Management System (ELMS) to reduce waste and maximize value- added work, Darwin is creating more effective ways to better serve EPA’s customers while increasing the capacity of EPA employees to do more environmental good. This includes strengthening partnerships with the states in streamlining and modernizing environmental protection. Darwin has committed to deploying ELMS in at least 80 percent of EPA by September 30, 2020.
Prior to joining EPA, Darwin served as the State of Arizona’s Chief of Operations, where he oversaw the operations of all 35 state agencies and worked to stand up the first state government intentional management system based upon lean principles. Among the improvements achieved by Arizona state agencies as a result of the management system are the elimination of a backlog of 16,000 uninvestigated child abuse allegations, reduction of customer wait times at Motor Vehicle Division offices by over 50 percent, and reduction of aquifer water quality compliance data review times from up to three months to 24 hours.
An experienced environmental engineer and attorney and a longtime Arizona Department of Environmental Quality (ADEQ) employee, Darwin assumed the position of ADEQ director in 2011. He is the only director in ADEQ’s 30-year history to have worked in all three of its media programs. As ADEQ Director, Darwin led the deployment of the state’s first lean initiatives and was elected as an officer of the Environmental Council of States.
As an Arizona Assistant Attorney General on special assignment to ADEQ's hazardous waste program, Darwin negotiated the country’s largest Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA) civil settlement at the time. He has testified in front of Congress on a variety of issues critical to Arizona, including innovations in the process of environmental protection. He worked briefly for the Salt River Project as in-house environmental counsel.
Darwin holds a Bachelor of Science degree in engineering hydrology from the University of Arizona and a Juris Doctorate from Lewis & Clark College's Northwestern School of Law, where he earned a certificate in environmental law. He is a licensed attorney in the state of Arizona.