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James L. Connaughton, Chairman, Council on Environmental Quality

James L. Connaughton was unanimously confirmed by the United States Senate on June 14 and appointed by President Bush on June 18, 2001 to serve as the Chairman of the Council on Environmental Quality ("CEQ"). In this capacity, he serves as the senior environmental advisor to the President as well as Director of the White House Office of Environmental Policy, which oversees the development of environmental policy, coordinates interagency implementation of environmental programs, and mediates key policy disagreements among Federal agencies, state, tribal and local governments and private citizens.

Prior to joining the Bush Administration, Mr. Connaughton was a partner in the law firm Sidley Austin Brown & Wood, in its Environmental Practice Group. His work covered a wide range of environmental policy issues, including environmental management and compliance assurance systems, legislation, regulation, international trade and standards, and ecological risk and natural resource damages assessment.

From 1993 until 2001, Mr. Connaughton served as one of the lead U.S. negotiators of the ISO 14000 series of international environmental standards. Mr. Connaughton also worked with officials from U.S. EPA, California EPA, and the Environmental Law Institute to help form the Multi-State Work Group on Environmental Management Systems ("MSWG").

Mr. Connaughton has extensive experience helping organizations large and small become responsible environmental stewards through effective environmental management and compliance assurance systems. This work has covered the electronics, transportation, consumer products, home improvement, energy management, and mining sectors, in North America, Mexico, Venezuela and Asia.

Mr. Connaughton has lectured throughout the world on international environmental standards, environment and trade, environmental management systems implementation, product regulation, and natural resource damages assessment.

Mr. Connaughton is a graduate of Yale University and graduated second in his class, magna cum laude, Order of the Coif, from the Northwestern University School of Law. At Northwestern, he was an Austin Scholar and served as Coordinating Articles Editor of the Northwestern University Law Review. Following Law School, he clerked for U.S. District Judge Marvin Aspen in the Northern District of Illinois.

Mr. Connaughton is an avid vocal harmony singer, sailor, and beachcomber.

Click here for a PDF version of this Biography

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