Christine Todd Whitman was sworn in as EPA Administrator on January 31, 2001. Prior to that, Whitman served as the 50th Governor of New Jersey for seven years.
In testimony before the U.S. Senate for her confirmation, Whitman said she believed environmental and economic goals go hand in hand and that she would work to forge strong partnerships among citizens, government and business to produce measurable environmental results of cleaner air, water and land.
Under Whitman's tenure, New Jersey's air became significantly cleaner. The number of days New Jersey violated the federal one-hour air quality standard for ground level ozone dropped from 45 in 1988 to four in 2000. The state is on target to reduce greenhouse gas emissions below 1990 levels.
New Jersey's waterways, coasts and ocean waters also became cleaner. Beach closings reached a record low and the state earned recognition by the Natural Resources Defense Council for instituting the most comprehensive beach monitoring system in the nation. The Governor won voter approval for a plan to break a longstanding impasse over dredging the state's ports. She established a new watershed management program. New Jersey now leads the nation in opening shellfish beds for harvesting.
Governor Whitman won voter approval for the state's first stable funding source to preserve one million more acres of open space and farmland by the year 2011. Nearly as much land -- over 250,000 acres -- was preserved during her administration as in the previous three decades of the state's land preservation program. She encouraged "smart growth" by promoting development in cities and other areas where roads, sewers and schools are already in place. She encouraged redevelopment of cities through programs to streamline cleanups of abandoned industrial "brownfield" sites.
Whitman was New Jersey's first female governor. She appointed New Jersey's first African American State Supreme Court Justice, its first female State Supreme Court Chief Justice and its first female Attorney General.
Prior to becoming governor, Whitman headed the New Jersey Board of Public Utilities and the Somerset County Board of Freeholders. She grew up in Hunterdon County, N.J. and earned a bachelor's degree in government from Wheaton College in Massachusetts in 1968.
She is married to John R. Whitman and has two children.