Cannon Selected for No. 2 Position at Environmental Protection Agency

February 23, 2009

Law School professor Jon Cannon has been selected by the Obama administration to take the No. 2 post at the Environmental Protection Agency, the White House announced today. Cannon's position as deputy administrator of the EPA is subject to U.S. Senate approval.

Jon Cannon

"I'm honored that President Obama intends to nominate me to this position and look forward to the Senate confirmation process," Cannon said.

Cannon, the Blaine T. Phillips Distinguished Professor of Environmental Law and director of the Law School's Environmental and Land Use Law Program, served as EPA general counsel from 1995 to 1998. Cannon served in numerous other positions within the EPA during the Reagan, George H.W. Bush, and Clinton administrations, including as assistant administrator for administration and resources management, deputy general counsel for litigation and regional operations, deputy assistant administrator for civil enforcement, deputy assistant administrator of the Office of Solid Waste Emergency Response (OSWER), acting assistant administrator for OSWER, assistant administrator for administration and resource management, and chief financial officer. Cannon graduated with a B.A. from Williams College in 1967 and a J.D. from the University of Pennsylvania in 1974.

Cannon has served as senior counsel at Beveridge & Diamond law firm and also has been an adjunct professor at Washington and Lee Law School, where he taught environmental law. He has authored numerous articles on environmental law and policy, including several on relationships among the EPA and the White House, Congress and the courts. He has also written on the Supreme Court's decision in Massachusetts v. EPA, a 2006 ruling that affirmed the EPA's right to regulate greenhouse gasses, which is likely to figure importantly in early efforts to address climate change.

If approved by the Senate, Cannon will take a leave of absence from the Law School while he serves at the EPA.

"I will dearly miss the contact with students and my colleagues at the Law School," he said. "But this is a moment in history for the environment, as well as for the country more broadly, and I am excited by the chance to be a part of it."

Founded in 1819, the University of Virginia School of Law is the second-oldest continuously operating law school in the nation. Consistently ranked among the top law schools, Virginia is a world-renowned training ground for distinguished lawyers and public servants, instilling in them a commitment to leadership, integrity and community service.

News Highlights