Lisa P. Jackson and Ray LaHood discuss the future of automobile fuel and transportation energy. Location: Paepcke Auditorium
Lisa P. Jackson is adminstrator of the US Environmental Protection Agency, where she leads a staff of more than 18,000. She started with the EPA as a staff-level scientist in 1987. In 2002, Jackson joined the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection and was appointed commissioner of the agency in 2006. In response to the economic downturn, she has guided the EPA in investing billions of Recovery Act dollars in cleaner communities, innovative technologies, and green jobs. As the first African-American to serve as EPA administrator, Jackson has made it a priority to expand outreach to communities that are historically underrepresented in environmental action. Jackson was named one of Newsweek’s Most Important People in 2010. In 2010 and 2011, she was on the TIME 100 list of most influential people. Essence magazine listed her in 2010 as one of 40 women who have influenced the world.
Ray LaHood became the 16th US secretary of transportation in January 2009. As secretary, LaHood leads an agency with more than 55,000 employees and a $70 billion budget that oversees air, maritime, and surface transportation missions. Before his appointment, LaHood served for 14 years in the US House of Representatives from the 18th Congressional District of Illinois (R). During that time, he served first on the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee and after that on the House Appropriations Committee. Prior to his election to the House, he served as chief of staff to then US congressman Robert Michel, whom he succeeded in representing the 18th district, and as district administrative assistant to congressman Thomas Railsback. He also served in the Illinois state legislature. Before his career in government, LaHood was a junior high school teacher.
Vijay V. Vaitheeswaran
Vijay V. Vaitheeswaran is an award-winning journalist, author, and public speaker. The Financial Times recently proclaimed him to be “a writer to whom it is worth paying attention.” A 20-year veteran of The Economist, he is currently the magazine’s China business and finance editor. Kirkus Reviews has called Need, Speed, and Greed, Vaitheeswaran’s new book on global innovation, “the perfect primer for the postindustrial age.” He is a life member at the Council on Foreign Relations and advisor to the World Economic Forum. His commentaries have appeared on NPR and the BBC, and in The Wall Street Journal and The New York Times.