Christie Whitman was sworn in as EPA Administrator on January 31, 2001. Prior to that, Whitman served as the 50th Governor of New Jersey.
In testimony before the U.S. Senate on January 17, Whitman said she believed environmental and economic goals go hand in hand and that she would continue her record of working to forge strong partnerships among citizens, government and business to produce measurable environmental results of cleaner air, water and land.
As governor of New Jersey, Whitman developed a strong environmental record, providing cleaner air, water and land than when she was first elected in November 1993. Under her environmental leadership, New Jersey's air became significantly cleaner. The number of days New Jersey violated the federal one-hour air quality standard for ground level ozone dropped from 45 in 1988 to four in 2000. The state is on target to reduce greenhouse gas emissions below 1990 levels.
New Jersey's waterways, coasts and ocean waters also became significantly cleaner. Beach closings reached a record low and the state earned recognition by the Natural Resources Defense Council for instituting the most comprehensive beach monitoring system in the nation. The Governor won voter approval for a plan to break a longstanding impasse over dredging the state's ports that is both environmentally acceptable and economical. She established a new watershed management program. New Jersey now leads the nation in opening shellfish beds for harvesting.
As a preservationist, Governor Whitman won voter approval for the state's first stable funding source to preserve one million more acres of open space and farmland in ten years. By 2010, New Jersey will have permanently preserved 40 percent of its total landmass, with more than half preserved during her tenure. She is an advocate for "smart growth" and in New Jersey she encouraged new growth in cities and other areas where roads, sewers and schools are already in place. She encouraged redevelopment of cities through programs to streamline cleanups of abandoned industrial "brownfield" sites.
Whitman was New Jersey's first female governor. She appointed New Jersey's first African American State Supreme Court Justice, its first female State Supreme Court Chief Justice and its first female Attorney General.
Prior to becoming governor, Whitman headed the New Jersey Board of Public Utilities and the Somerset County Board of Freeholders. She grew up in Hunterdon County, N.J. and earned a bachelor's degree in government from Wheaton College in Massachusetts in 1968. She is married to John R. Whitman and has two children.