Profiles of Members of EPA's Asian-American and Pacific Islander Community: Louise Kitamura
Louise Kitamura, Associate Director, Resource Management Staff
Office of Water
Where were you born?
I was born in Tokyo, Japan (as an American citizen).
What brought you to EPA?
I began my federal career overseas, working for the US Army Corps of Engineers in Tokyo. The Department of Defense gave me the opportunity to work in prime locations overseas, such as London, Brussels, and Wiesbaden. As I got further into my career in the federal service, I realized that Washington, DC, where public policy is formed, is where I wanted to make a difference.
What type of work do you do at EPA?
I manage resources for EPA’s national water program, which includes developing and enacting the President’s budget. I’m responsible for strategic planning and program evaluation. I also oversee grants and contracts for the Office of Water. Additionally, I’m OW’s Lean Six Sigma leader and the headquarters representative for Special Emphasis Program Managers on the Administrator’s Diversity and Inclusion Advisory Committee.
What is your highest level of education? What was your major?
I have a liberal arts degree in mathematics. During the years, I’ve taken graduate courses in business and environmental policy because I wanted to learn more about certain topics.
What message would you like to send other Asian Americans who are considering college or a career in environmental protection?
We need more Asians Americans who are passionate about making a difference for Asian Americans and Pacific Islander communities and stakeholders. We also need more Asian Americans aspiring to be environmental leaders. Through these leaders, we can ensure that public policy makers and implementers adequately represent Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders—a significant, yet often underrepresented community within our great nation.