Hynes, Franklin celebrate Vicki Arroyo’s appointment to EPA


Hynes Charters and Ben Franklin High School Celebrate the appointment of New Orleans native Vicki Arroyo to top environmental post in Biden administration

Vicki Arroyo

NEW ORLEANS — Lakeview native Vicki Arroyo will join the Biden administration as Associate Administrator of Policy for the Environmental Protection Agency.

A graduate of New Orleans Public Schools, specifically Hynes Elementary and Ben Franklin High, she holds an undergraduate degree from Emory University in Biology, a Masters in Public Administration from Harvard, and a law degree from Georgetown.

Arroyo will leave Georgetown’s Climate Center, a federal and state policy resource she founded at the university’s law center in 2008 to help states and cities prepare for climate change.

In that position, she recently provided policy recommendations to the Biden-Harris team for creating a cleaner, more resilient future with sustainable energy and transportation policies which move the United States towards a zero-carbon status by 2050.

Arroyo’s sister Beth Utterback, the General Manger for New Orleans WWOZ FM station, recalls her sibling’s passion for the environment as a youth.

“I remember my parents driving Vicki to public meetings on the environment for years before she was old enough to drive herself. This has been her life-long passion and I am so proud of my incredible sister,” said Utterback. 

“Vicki is a NOLA-born public school graduate who went on to receive degrees with top honors. She has dedicated her life to working with world leaders to make our planet safer and healthier.”

Her brother Sidney Arroyo, a former recording artist with Vince Vance and the Valiants and a retired political consultant now living in Arizona, said: “Words can’t express my pride and admiration for her accomplishments.”

Vicki Arroyo

Previously Vicki Arroyo served at the Pew Center on Global Climate Change as Vice President for Policy Analysis and General Counsel where she directed Pew’s policy analysis, science, adaptation, economics, and U.S. policy programs for a decade and was Managing Editor of the Center’s book, Climate Change: Science, Strategies and Solutions.

She was recently Chair of the Executive Committee of the Transportation Research Board of the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine and has served on numerous other boards and committees advising the National Science Foundation, the National Center for Atmospheric Research, the U.S. Energy Information Administration, and the California Air Resources Board.

Vicki also served in two offices at EPA, the Office of Air and Radiation and the Office of Research and Development, where she reviewed development of standards under the Clean Air Act.

She also served as Policy Director for the Louisiana Department of Environmental Quality under Governor Buddy Roemer, drafting legislation that reduced toxic air pollution by 50 percent and linking tax breaks to firm’s environmental records. She was elected to the American College of Environmental Lawyers in 2018.

This is the second Ben Franklin High grad to be appointed by the Biden Administration. Congressman Cedric Richmond will serve directly to President Joe Biden in the White House as Director of the Office of Public Engagement.


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