Carol Martha Browner (born December 16, 1955) is an American lawyer,
environmentalist, and businesswoman, who served as director of the White
House Office of Energy and Climate Change Policy in the Obama
administration from 2009 to 2011. Browner previously served as
Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency during the Clinton
administration from 1993 to 2001.
Browner grew up in Florida and graduated from the University of Florida
and the University of Florida College of Law. After working for the
Florida House of Representatives, she was employed by Citizen Action in
Washington, D.C. She became a legislative assistant for Senators Lawton
Chiles and Al Gore. Browner then headed the Florida Department of
Environmental Regulation from 1991 to 1993, where she turned it into one
of the most active departments in the state government.
She was the longest-serving
administrator in the history of the EPA, staying through both terms of
the Clinton presidency. During her tenure, she reorganized the agency's
enforcement structure and oversaw two new programs designed to create
flexible partnerships with industry as an alternative to traditional
regulation. She started a successful program to deal with contaminated
lands in urban areas. She took the lead within the administration in
defending existing environmental laws and budgets, and was the driving
force behind a stringent tightening of air quality standards that led to
a prolonged political and legal battle.
Afterward, Browner became a founding member of the Albright Group and
Albright Capital Management during the 2000s (decade). She also served
on a number of boards of directors and committees dealing with
environmental issues. Her director role in the Obama administration was
sometimes informally referred to as the "Energy Czar" or "Climate Czar".
Her efforts towards getting comprehensive climate and energy legislation
passed in Congress came to no avail, but she assumed a prominent role in
the federal government's response to the BP Deepwater Horizon oil spill
during 2010. She left her position in 2011 and the job itself was
abolished shortly thereafter.