Catherine McCabe

  • Director, RGGI, Inc. Board of Directors
  • Commissioner, New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection

Catherine R. McCabe, a long-time federal environmental leader, assumed her duties as Commissioner of the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) on January 22, 2018.

Commissioner McCabe comes to the DEP with a distinguished career in government service, both in environmental law and science. Most recently, Commissioner McCabe served as U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Deputy Region 2 Administrator in New York City.

In that position, Commissioner McCabe assisted the regional administration in overseeing operations and regional implementation of all EPA programs in New Jersey, New York, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands. She also served as Acting EPA Administrator and Acting Region 2 Administrator in 2017, and was a long-time member of the EPA’s Executive Management Council.

Commissioner McCabe is well suited to tackle the Murphy Administration’s ambitious environmental goals for New Jersey – addressing the effects of climate change being felt along the Jersey shore, building a clean energy economy with well-paying green jobs, and restoring the state’s participation in the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative, with the intention of having New Jersey reach 100 percent clean energy by 2050.

Commissioner McCabe from 2011 to 2014 served as a judge on the EPA’s Environmental Appeals Board, and from 2005 to 2011 she served as Deputy Assistant Administrator of EPA’s Office of Enforcement and Compliance Assurance.

Commissioner McCabe joined the EPA after 22 years with the U.S. Department of Justice, where she served in various positions. She was a manager and trial attorney in the Environment and Natural Resources Division, including Deputy Chief of the Environmental Enforcement Section, Assistant Chief in the Natural Resources Section, and Senior Counsel in the Policy, Legislation and Special Litigation Section.

Before joining federal service, Commissioner McCabe was an Assistant Attorney General for the State of New York, and was associated with the law firm of Webster and Sheffield in New York City.

Commissioner McCabe earned a law degree from Columbia Law School and a bachelor’s degree in Environmental Science from Barnard College. She also studied environmental science at Columbia University’s Graduate School of Arts and Sciences.