CPR Announces Appointment of New President: Robert R.M. Verchick

by Matthew Freeman

Rena Steinzor Steps Down after Seven Years at Helm, Succeeded by Loyola 
University New Orleans College of Law Professor, Former EPA Official 

The board of directors of the Center for Progressive Reform today announced the appointment of Robert R.M. Verchick to be the organization’s third president, succeeding Rena Steinzor, who has served in the post for the past seven years.

Verchick holds the Gauthier~St. Martin Eminent Scholar Chair in Environmental Law at Loyola University New Orleans College of Law, and is also the Faculty Director of Loyola’s Center for Environmental Law. In addition, he is a Senior Fellow in Disaster Resilience Leadership at Tulane University. He is an expert in climate change law, disaster law, and environmental regulation. In 2009 and 2010, he served as Deputy Associate Administrator for Policy at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. In that role he helped develop climate adaptation policy for the EPA and served on President Obama's Interagency Climate Change Adaptation Task Force. In the fall of 2012, he researched climate adaptation policies in India as a Visiting Scholar at the Centre for Policy Research in New Delhi, supported by a Fulbright Award.

Verchick succeeds Professor Rena Steinzor of the University of Maryland’s Carey School of Law, who has served in the post since January of 2008. Steinzor continues as a Member Scholar of the organization.

“Rob Verchick is the ideal choice to be CPR’s next president,” Steinzor said in announcing the transition. “He brings a wealth of policy experience — in government and in academia, and more than that he brings the energy, talent, and enthusiasm to the task that I know will make him a great success. I’ve enjoyed my work as President of CPR more than words can express, and I’m particularly proud to have been able to guide the organization to the point that a second generation of organizational leaders, led by Rob, is now taking on the challenge of guiding the organization. That’s a milestone for us, as it would be for any organization.”

“I’m stepping into some mighty big shoes,” Verchick said. “Rena Steinzor has been a superb president for CPR. I’ve learned so much from her leadership, and I’m grateful to inherit a healthy and sound organization from her. CPR has grown under her leadership and has taken its place as an influential watchdog of the federal regulatory system, a strong advocate for safer workplaces, and a valued member of the Chesapeake Bay activist community, among other things. Our scholars and staff are engaged in vital work, protecting health, safety and the environment, and we do it in the face of opposition from some powerful politicians and well-funded corporations. For now, we’re hard at work making sure the Obama Administration makes as much progress as is humanly possible in its remaining 20 months, but because of the sound work of Rena and Tom McGarity before her, I know we’ll have an impact long past this Administration.”

Verchick will assume the organization’s presidency on May 1, and will lead the organization at its semi-annual scholar meeting later that month.

© 2016 The Center for Progressive Reform