White House deputy on environmental council to step down

Top White House official Gary Guzy will step down from his post on the administration's Council of Environmental Quality to join an international law firm next year.

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The firm, Convington and Burling, announced on Monday that Guzy will start work for them in late January.

Guzy will leave his post as deputy director at the end of the month, a White House official confirmed. He joined the environmental council early in President Obama's first term.

Guzy helped develop and guide the Obama administration’s environmental, public health and clean-energy agenda.

Prior to joining the administration, Guzy served as a former general counsel of the Environmental Protection Agency during the Clinton administration.

The announcement comes on the heels of Nancy Sutley's pending departure from her post as chairwoman of the Council on Environmental Quality, continuing a near complete reshuffle of President Obama's top players on environment issues.

Guzy's name had been floated as a possible top contender to replace Sutley after news of her departure broke earlier this month.

Guzy will work for Convington and Burling handling environmental and clean-energy issues as they intersect with public policy and government affairs. He will join another former EPA general counsel, E. Donald Elliott, who served during the first Bush administration.

"Many industries are facing emerging environmental requirements and crises that threaten their business and value,” said Dan Bryant, chairmsn of the firm’s global public policy and government affairs practice, in a statement.

Guzy said in a statement on Monday he is joining the law firm to help companies face environmental crises.

"Successful outcomes in the environmental arena no longer fit neatly into a single box defined by executive branch, congressional, judicial or communications actions," Guzy said.