Dr. Donald R. van der VaartHeadshot

Dr. Donald R. van der Vaart

Former Secretary, North Carolina Department of Environmental Quality


Dr. Donald van der Vaart earned a B.S. in Chemistry from UNC Chapel Hill, an M.S. in Chemical Engineering from N. C. State University, a Ph.D. in Chemical Engineering from Cambridge University and a J.D. from N. C. Central University.

He has worked in both the energy and utility sectors before coming to the N.C. Department of Environmental Quality as an engineer. There he rose through the department to serve as an Air Quality manager, N. C. Energy Policy Advisor, Deputy Secretary, and eventually Secretary under the Pat McCrory administration.

He was named to the U.S. EPA’s Scientific Advisory Board in 2018 and reappointed in late 2020 to a term that ends September 30, 2023. Dr. van der Vaart also serves on the North Carolina Environmental Management Commission which is the rule-making body for the Department of Environmental Quality.

Dr. van der Vaart has authored nearly 50 papers on both technical and legal topics and authored two patents. He has testified for various Congressional Committees on environmental topics and is a licensed engineer and attorney in North Carolina.

Student Energy Seminar

Student Energy Seminar with Don van der Vaart

Posted by John Locke Foundation on Friday, November 1, 2019

Are All Electric Vehicles the Right Answer? with Don van der Vaart

Posted by John Locke Foundation on Monday, September 23, 2019

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We are North Carolina’s Most Trusted and Influential Source of Common Sense. The John Locke Foundation was created in 1990 as an independent, nonprofit think tank that would work “for truth, for freedom, and for the future of North Carolina.” The Foundation is named for John Locke (1632-1704), an English philosopher whose writings inspired Thomas Jefferson and the other Founders.

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