Law professor Lisa Heinzerling will be returning to Georgetown after two years of serving as the associate administrator for the Office of Policy at the Environmental Protection Agency. In her time at EPA, Heinzerling helped shape the agency’s current climate policies and pursued the regulation of greenhouse gases.
Heinzerling’s departure comes amid several resignations in the Obama administration, including Obama’s senior adviser and National Security Adviser Gen. James Jones (SFS ’66). Heinzerling said that she always intended to step down at the end of her two-year leave of absence from the Law Center.
“It was something that had been in the works for a while,” she said. “I fully intended to return to Georgetown. I view Georgetown Law as my permanent home.”
Nevertheless, Heinzerling said that she greatly enjoyed her experience at the EPA.
“It was fabulous. It’s given me a broader understanding and a real appreciation for civil service,” she said.
Heinzerling, who has been with the Law Center since 1993, plans to teach a class on administrative law in the spring. Heinzerling previously taught environmental law and natural resource law.
“I have a new appreciation for how complicated the regulatory process is,” Heinzerling said. “[Working at the EPA] was really helpful because for me I have a background in basically all the laws we work with.”
After receiving degrees from Princeton and the University of Chicago Law School, Heinzerling served as a clerk for both the U.S. Court of Appeals and the Supreme Court. She then served as an assistant attorney general in Massachusetts with a specialty in environmental law; she gained fame during her career as assistant attorney general in the landmark case of Massachusetts v. EPA, which forced the agency to regulate greenhouse gases.