EPA Welcomes Additional Members of the Biden-Harris Leadership Team
WASHINGTON (January 27, 2021) — The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency today announced additional members of the agency’s incoming leadership team who will advance the Biden-Harris administration’s agenda to tackle the climate crisis, secure environmental justice and create clean energy jobs.
New appointees joining the EPA team are listed here along with their intended new role and brief biographies:
Dorien Paul Blythers, Deputy Chief of Staff for Operations
Dorien comes to EPA with over 10 years of experience in electoral and issue campaigns. Most recently he was the Political Director for End Citizens United & Let America Vote. He also served as a Regional Political Director for Kamala Harris For The People, maintaining national, state, and local relationships on behalf of the candidate. Dorien previously served as Public Engagement Program Manager for Climate Action Campaign, serving as chief relationship manager with external partners for African American, Faith, and Millennial constituencies. Dorien credits his commitment to social and environmental justice to Howard University– where he studied political science and was elected Student Body President for the College of Arts & Sciences.
Avi Garbow, Senior Counselor to the Administrator
Avi Garbow is a nationally-recognized environmental leader, lawyer, and advocate with decades of experience tackling the most critical threats to our air, water, and lands. Honored by the National Law Journal as an Energy and Environmental Trailblazer, Avi has most recently been serving as Patagonia’s Environmental Advocate. Avi served as General Counsel at EPA from 2013-2017 – the longest to hold that position – and prior to that served as the Agency’s Deputy General Counsel. Avi also helped lead the environmental practice of a major international law firm, was a distinguished federal environmental crimes prosecutor in the U.S. Department of Justice, and began his environmental law career nearly three decades ago in EPA’s enforcement office. Avi received the Robert F. Kennedy Award for Public Service from the University of Virginia School of law, obtained a masters degree in marine affairs, and has served on the Boards of non-profits and the Organic Trade Association.
Kathleen Lance, Director of Scheduling and Advance, Office of the Administrator
Kathleen Lance joins the EPA from the North Carolina Department of Environmental Quality where she served as special assistant to Secretary Michael Regan. In that role, she managed executive level support for the department leadership, playing a central role in the operations of a $2 billion, 1,600-person department. She has held multiple roles within the department and previous to that worked for the Arc of Hunterdon County, a non-profit organization. She is a graduate of Elon University where she studied political science.
Fernando Mercado-Violand, Deputy White House Liaison
Fernando graduated from the University of Virginia in 2014 with degrees in history and government. He began his career as an organizer for Senator Mark Warner’s first re-election campaign, then served as a community organizer in Northern Virginia with the Legal Aid Justice Center working on health care and immigration issues. In 2016, he worked for Hilary Clinton’s campaign in Iowa, Texas and Virginia. In 2017, he was the political director for Virginia Attorney General Mark Herring’s campaign. In 2018 he took the role of policy coordinator for the Virginia House Democratic Caucus and later went on to serve as this first Director of Latino Outreach for Governor Ralph Northam. Most recently, he was the Deputy State and Political Director for the Biden-Harris campaign in Virginia. Fernando was born in Bolivia, immigrated to the U.S. with his family when he was 5 years old, and is a die-hard UVA basketball fan.