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About EPA

Susan Hedman, Administrator for EPA's Region 5 Office in Chicago

Susan Hedman

Susan Hedman was appointed by President Barack Obama to be EPA Region 5 Administrator on Earth Day 2010. She directs EPA’s operations in the six-state Great Lakes region that includes Illinois, Indiana, Ohio, Michigan, Wisconsin, Minnesota and the reservations of 35 federally-recognized tribes.  She leads a team of over one thousand scientists, engineers, lawyers, environmental specialists and administrative staff in the Region 5 Office.

One of her most important roles is that of Great Lakes National Program Manager, in which she oversees restoration and protection of the largest freshwater system in the world.   In that capacity, Susan chairs the Great Lakes Regional Working Group (comprised of the 16 federal agencies that work together to implement the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative) and co-chairs the bi-national Great Lakes Executive Committee (comprised of the federal, state, provincial, tribal and local governments that work together to implement the Great Lakes Water Quality Agreement.)   She also served as head of the U.S. delegation that negotiated the 2012 amendments to the Great Lakes Water Quality Agreement.

In 2014, President Obama appointed Susan to serve as a Commissioner representing the United States Government on the Ohio River Valley Water Sanitation Commission (ORSANCO).

Before accepting the President’s appointment, Susan was environmental counsel and senior assistant attorney general in the Illinois Attorney General’s office, where she focused on litigation and legislation relating to environmental protection, energy efficiency, renewable energy, carbon capture technology and associated consumer issues.

Previously, Susan was chief legal officer for the Geneva-based United Nations Compensation Commission tribunal that handled claims for environmental damage from the oil fires in Kuwait and releases of oil in the Persian Gulf, as well as the costs of de-mining and disposal of unexploded ordnance from the 1990 Gulf War.

Susan has a Ph.D. from the Gaylord Nelson Institute for Environmental Studies, a M.A. from the La Follette School of Public Affairs and a J.D. from the School of Law at the University of Wisconsin. She has over 35 years of experience working on environmental and energy issues.