News Releases from Headquarters›Office of the Administrator (AO)
Mandy Gunasekara Sworn in as EPA Chief of Staff
WASHINGTON (March 17, 2020) — This week, Mandy Gunasekara began her tenure as Chief of Staff to U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Andrew Wheeler.
“I am pleased that Mandy Gunasekara has rejoined us here at the Environmental Protection Agency to serve as our Chief of Staff to further our mission of protecting human health and the environment,” said EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler. “I am honored to have her join our team and help me lead the agency. I am confident that she will be a great success as we work to advance the Trump Administration’s environmental goals.”
“I am grateful for the opportunity to join a highly-effective team of experts. Continuing our nation’s environmental and public health progress is of the utmost importance. I intend to use my time, energy and resources helping Administrator Wheeler and President Trump achieve this noble goal,” said EPA Chief of Staff Mandy Gunasekara.
Mandy Gunasekara is a veteran Republican strategist and communicator with extensive experience in environmental issues. Most recently, Mrs. Gunasekara founded the Energy 45 Fund, a Jackson, Mississippi-based non-profit dedicated to informing the public about the energy, environmental and economic gains made under the Trump Administration.
Prior to Energy 45, Mrs. Gunasekara served as EPA’s Principal Deputy Assistant Administrator for the Office of Air and Radiation. While at EPA, she spearheaded many of the Trump Administration's greatest energy and environmental policy achievements, including the Affordable Clean Energy rule. Mrs. Gunaskera also previously served as Majority Counsel for Chairman Inhofe, where she led committee actions and policy development on Clean Air Act and climate change issues.
A native Mississippian, Mandy earned a J.D. from the University of Mississippi School of Law and a B.A. from Mississippi College.
Widespread Praise for Mrs. Gunasekara’s Appointment:
U.S. Senator James Inhofe (OK): “Mandy Gunasekara did a fantastic job working for me on the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee during my tenure as Chairman and she is a superb choice for EPA Chief of Staff. Not only does she bring her years of experience on environmental issues to the table, but she also has a heart for public service that is hard to come by. She will be a great asset to EPA Administrator Wheeler and the Trump Administration in this new role.”
U.S. Senator Roger Wicker (MS): “I am glad a Mississippian will be helping to lead a major government agency. Mandy Gunesakara’s experience as an environmental attorney, private-sector leader, and well-respected policy advisor will help her navigate the many challenges she will face as chief of staff at the EPA. I am confident that she will provide wise counsel to Administrator Wheeler as he works to implement the President’s environmental policies.”
U.S. Senator Cindy Hyde-Smith (MS):“Administrator Wheeler and the White House understand that Mandy is a proven leader with impeccable qualifications to help fulfill President Trump’s promise to eliminate job-killing, overreaching government regulations. As a fellow Mississippian and woman, I’m delighted to see Mandy in this important role.”
Governor Tate Reeves (MS): “Mandy Gunasekara is a fantastic choice to serve as Chief of Staff for U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Andrew Wheeler. It’s welcome news any time a Mississippian can serve in a leadership position across any administration because we need more Mississippi values in Washington. I have known Mandy for many years, and her dedication to conserving our nation’s natural beauty and resources and her environmental legal background make her well-suited for this pivotal role.”
U.S. Congressman James Comer (KY-01):“Mandy Gunasekara is a fantastic choice to serve as Chief of Staff for the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. We had the privilege of having Mandy testify as an expert witness during a House Oversight Environment Subcommittee hearing earlier this year. There’s no question she’s highly informed and educated on the issues. I look forward to working with her and the rest of the EPA as Ranking Member of the Environment Subcommittee and to protect Kentucky’s treasured natural resources.”
U.S. Congressman Bob Latta (OH-05): “Mandy Gunasekara has been instrumental in leading American policies towards energy independence. She is a dedicated public servant and I am confident she will make a great Chief of Staff at the EPA.”
U.S. Congressman Steven Palazzo (MS-04):“Mandy has been a strong leader in Mississippi and an expert on environmental issues. Our nation is lucky to have such a well-rounded Mississippian making top-level decisions and I know she will serve as an asset to President Trump’s Administration.”
U.S. Congressman Trent Kelly (MS-01): “Mandy Gunasekara is a proven leader and devoted public servant, demonstrating an outstanding commitment to the environment. I am proud to see my fellow Mississippian assume this critical role for the Environmental Protection Agency.”
U.S. Congressman Michael Guest (MS-03): “Mandy Gunasekara’s background in energy and environmental policy matters and her previous experience at the EPA will serve Administrator Wheeler well. I look forward to working with Mandy on issues of importance to Mississippi and the nation.”
The Honorable Jason Isaac, Senior Manager and Distinguished Fellow at Texas Public Policy Foundation: “Mandy’s principled leadership at the EPA will ensure the current administration continues to strike the proper balance between responsible stewardship and individual liberty.”