Profiles of Members of EPA's LGBT Community: Andrew Reighart
Profiles of Members of EPA's LGBT Community
Office of Atmospheric Programs
Office of Air and Radiation
Where were you born?
What brought you to EPA?
I started at EPA as a Greater Research Opportunities for Undergraduates Fellow over the summer of 2012, where I worked in the Office of Global Affairs & Policy within the Office of International & Tribal Affairs supporting Administrator Lisa Jackson’s participation at the UN Conference on Sustainable Development (Rio+20) and the agency’s Arctic Council portfolio.
Describe the type of work you do at EPA.
I work to implement the Cross-State Air Pollution Rule and the Acid Rain Program to reduce power plant pollution and meet the Clean Air Act’s National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS). Specifically, I help to allocate allowances, run pollution allowance auctions, and ensure program compliance. Outside of my core role, I also am co-chair of Equality EPA, the non-labor employee group (NLEG) for LGBTQ+ folx and allies, a member of the Diversity & Inclusion Advisory Council (DIAC) and a volunteer for the Response Support Corps, which sends staff members on short-term emergency response deployments during large-scale disasters.
What is your highest level of education? What was your major?
I earned my Masters of Public Policy from the University of Maryland’s School of Public Policy, where I completed the environmental policy and international security & economic policy specializations. Prior to that, I attended St. Mary’s College of Maryland, where I majored in Public Policy Studies and Political Science and minored in Biology, Environmental Studies, Economics, and French – a truly liberal arts experience!
What message would you like to send other members of the LGBTQ community who are considering college or a career in environmental protection?
If you are interested in working at EPA to protect the environment and human health, I would suggest trying to complete a bachelor’s degree and/or engage in professional opportunities that give you a background in both science and policy. Information technology and computer science are also increasingly necessary skill sets needed for developing and implementing environmental policy in the 21st century. Certainly earning a Masters, JD, and/or PhD can be incredibly useful to a career here at EPA, but don’t feel like a graduate education is required to be a valuable resource to the agency. And as it pertains to the visibility and inclusion of LGBTQ+ folx and allies, EPA is simply one of the best agencies to work for – come join us!