Profiles of African Americans at EPA: Vicki Simons
Vicki Simons, Director
Office of Civil Rights
Where were you born?
Jersey City, NJ.
What brought you to EPA?
I wanted an opportunity to combine my communications background with my desire to be an advocate for diverse communities. During my 24 year tenure here, I've been able to work on a wide array of issues, including chemical safety, diversity, state and tribal outreach, environmental justice, affirmative employment, human resources management and civil rights.
What type of work do you do at EPA?
During my 25-plus years at EPA, I’ve held several leadership positions focused on providing equal opportunity and equal protection to underrepresented communities both inside and outside of the agency. Currently, as the director of the Office of Civil Rights, I head the office responsible for enforcing federal civil rights laws, such as Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 that protects employees and applicants from discrimination. I continue to provide policy guidance to the agency’s leadership regarding diversity and inclusion, affirmative employment, and equal employment opportunity.
What is your highest level of education? What was your major?
I have a juris doctor from the University of Maryland's School of Law and a bachelors in communications.
What message would you like to send other Black/African Americans who are considering college or a career in environmental protection?
Our health is directly connected to the environment. We need your voice, perspective and expertise at EPA's table. This is the only way the agency will truly be able to protect human health and the environment.