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Profiles of African Americans at EPA: Jonathan Newton

Profiles of African Americans at EPA


Jonathan Newton

Jonathan Newton, Attorney Advisor
Office of the Administrator
Washington, DC

Where were you born?

Bronx, New York.

What brought you to EPA?

I developed a passion for public interest law and trial advocacy in law school. After clerking for the Chief Administrative Law Judge at the Drug Enforcement Administration and serving as an Assistant District Attorney in Bronx County New York, I came to EPA for opportunities to litigate information law (FOIA) cases in federal court. 

What type of work do you do at EPA?

Since 2012 I have served as the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) Coordinator for the Office of the Administrator. I route FOIA requests to the appropriate AO staff offices, advise and support those offices as needed, and process FOIA requests for the Immediate Office of the Administrator. I led the transition to paperless FOIA processing and developed new processes for managing electronic records. Since 1999 I have also volunteered and served as adjunct faculty for EPA’s Trial Advocacy Institute. 

What is your highest level of education? What was your major?

I have a law degree from Harvard Law School, and I am currently pursuing a Doctor of Ministry from Wesley Theological Seminary. 

What message would you like to send other Black/African Americans who are considering college or a career in environmental protection?

I would remind them that most people have more potential than they realize; think big, identify ambitious goals, and then ask questions about the steps needed to achieve those goals. Position yourself to build upon the opportunities you have been given and show your appreciation for the sacrifices of your predecessors by pursuing excellence in everything you do. 

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