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Heather White named executive director of EWG

Heather White

Heather White

The Environmental Working Group has named Heather White, the organization's chief of staff and general counsel since 2009, as executive director, a position that existed 20 years ago when EWG was founded, but that has been vacant for years.

White will be responsible for all aspects of EWG operations, including managing its 47 employees and $6.7 million budget, and overseeing its research, advocacy and policy initiatives, fund-raising and development and engagement with its more than 1.3 million online supporters, EWG President and co-founder Ken Cook said in a news release.

Cook will continue as president and also as a member of the EWG board of directors, but he now operates out of EWG's California office and travels frequently to Washington. All EWG employees will report to White, a spokeswoman said.

Before joining EWG, White was the director of education advocacy for the National Wildlife Federation. She previously served as EWG’s general counsel from 2001 to 2003 and as counsel to then-U.S. Sen. Russell D. Feingold, D-Wis., on energy and environmental issues from 2003 to 2005.

In 2000, White was a recount attorney for then-Vice President Al Gore’s presidential campaign during the contested Florida vote count, and was the deputy director of women’s outreach for the Gore campaign. She also was an associate at the law firm of Bass, Berry & Sims in Nashville, Tenn.

In the news release, White said she will "strive to create even more opportunities for women to engage in environmental policy and in leadership in the environmental movement."

White is an adjunct faculty member of Georgetown University Law Center. She is a graduate of the University of Tennessee College of Law, and earned a bachelor of science degree in environmental science from the University of Virginia.