Press Release

John Locke Foundation Senior Fellow Reappointed to EPA Board

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RALEIGH — The administrator of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has asked John Locke Foundation Senior Fellow Dr. Donald van der Vaart to serve a second term on its Science Advisory Board. Dr. van der Vaart has accepted and will serve through September 30, 2023, providing expertise on technical issues related to EPA policies and decision-making.

“Your expertise in engineering and air quality is a great asset to the board,” wrote Andrew Wheeler, who looks to the board’s independent experts for guidance as EPA seeks to protect public health and the environment. The full letter is linked here.

Dr. van der Vaart holds 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 served on the influential board since 2018.

“As a scientist and environmentalist, I know that proper stewardship of our air, water, and land requires vigilance to science and data,” van der Vaart said. “They inform my analysis for the John Locke Foundation, and they ground my contributions to the EPA advisory board. It is vital that EPA policymakers are guided by evidence that protects our environment and respects farmers, landowners, and industries that propel our economy. I’m honored to serve.”

Dr. van der Vaart joined the John Locke Foundation in 2018 following service in Gov. Pat McCrory’s administration as Secretary of the North Carolina Department of Environmental Quality. He analyzes energy and environmental issues for the Locke Foundation, as well as the nexus between public policy, law, and economic prosperity.

Dr. van der Vaart is a licensed engineer and attorney in North Carolina and serves on the state’s Environmental Management Commission. He has authored nearly 50 papers on both technical and legal topics and has authored two patents. Dr. van der Vaart has also testified before congressional committees on environmental topics.


Questions and Interviews

Dr. Donald van der Vaart, [email protected] 
919-828-3876 (office)
Brooke Medina, [email protected]
919-828-3876 (office)

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About John Locke Foundation

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.

The John Locke Foundation is a 501(c)(3) research institute and is funded solely from voluntary contributions from individuals, corporations, and charitable foundations.