Obama names new head of White House environmental council

Obama names new head of White House environmental council
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President Obama has tapped Christy Goldfuss, a former top official at the National Park Service, to lead his committee of environmental advisers.

Goldfuss, currently an adviser at the Council on Environmental Quality (CEQ), will take over as its acting director on Monday, when current acting director Mike Boots resigns, CEQ spokeswoman Taryn Tuss said Wednesday.

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Goldfuss came to the Park Service in 2013 after working at the Center for American Progress, where she started the liberal group’s program on public lands, focused on conservation and preservation of federally owned land such as parks, wilderness and land set aside for energy production.

In that position, she worked closely with John Podesta, who founded the think tank and was Obama’s top adviser from last year until February.

At the Park Service, she was the deputy director for congressional and external affairs, In that role, she oversaw communication and coordination between the agency and people outside the executive branch.

Goldfuss came to CEQ as an adviser in early February, shortly after Boots announced that he’d resign. At the time, the agency declined to say whether she would eventually be appointed director.

She led Obama’s efforts to establish a trio of national monuments in Chicago, Hawaii and Colorado in February, as well as the White House’s initiative to give free national park passes to all children in the fourth grade.

In addition to advising the president on environmental matters, CEQ is responsible for coordinating federal agencies’ compliance with the National Environmental Policy Act.

Boots took a leading role in Obama’s efforts to preserve important land and other places as national monuments, a power that he can exercise without congressional approval.