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Biden Selects Former Conn. Environment Chief Gina McCarthy; Other Cabinet Contenders

President Joe Biden and N.Y. Governor Andrew Cuomo
Richard Drew
New York Governor Andrew Cuomo has been rumored to be among Biden's potential cabinet picks.

President-elect Joe Biden has tapped Gina McCarthy, the former commissioner of the Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection, as his climate czar.

McCarthy is the next White House Climate Coordinator, a senior adviser to Biden. She will coordinate climate change policy throughout the federal government. She had been the president of the Natural Resources Defense Council, a national environmental group that has sued the Trump administration dozens of times.

Before that, McCarthy was the former administrator of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency under former President Barack Obama and the mastermind of some of his most far-reaching regulations to limit greenhouse gas emissions. Under Biden, she intends to make good on his campaign promise of putting the U.S. on track to reach carbon neutrality before 2050.

McCarthy served from 2004 to 2009 as the commissioner of the state Department of Environmental Protection, now the Department of Energy and Environmental Protection, under Governor M. Jodi Rell, a Republican.

Who's on the short list?

  • New York Governor Andrew Cuomo might be on President-elect Joe Biden’s short list for U.S. Attorney General, but Cuomo has said several times he is not interested in leaving Albany.
  • Miguel Cardona, the commissioner of the Connecticut Department of Education, might be selected as Biden’s Secretary of Education. Cardona became state education commissioner in July 2019.

    Prior, he was the Meriden schools assistant superintendent.

  • Basil Seggos, the commissioner of the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation, could be tapped to lead Biden’s Environmental Protection Agency. Seggos joined Cuomo in 2012 as a top environment adviser, and was later appointed to DEC commissioner.

    He has previously worked for the Natural Resources Defense Council, the Council on Environmental Quality in the White House, and Riverkeeper, which advocates for the Hudson River

A native Long Islander, J.D. is WSHU's managing editor. He also hosts the climate podcast Higher Ground. J.D. reports for public radio stations across the Northeast, is a journalism educator and proud SPJ member.