Notice & Comment

A Tribute to Carol Ann Siciliano

Sound public administration requires principled, trustworthy, dedicated, creative public servants. We’ve profiled a handful of these wonderful, essential people over the course of the last month. But our celebration of public service would be incomplete without a tribute to Carol Ann Siciliano. Carol Ann is a gifted lawyer and writer with a generous spirit, an unwavering commitment to the mission of good governance, and deep experience earned over three decades at the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

A graduate of Princeton and Fordham Law School, Carol Ann joined EPA in 1990 after first clerking for Judge Brieant (S.D.N.Y.) and working as an associate in Latham & Watkins. She started as a staff attorney in the Water Law Office of EPA’s General Counsel’s Office and was promoted in 2003 to Assistant General Counsel of the Water Law Office. During the EPA’s Hurricane Katrina recovery efforts, she served as that office’s Acting Associate General Counsel. In 2007, she was named Acting Associate of the Cross-Cutting Issues Law Office and the following year she joined the Senior Executive Service as a permanent Associate. Today, Carol Ann serves the Associate Assistant Administrator and Director of the Office of Program Support within the EPA’s Office of Chemical Safety and Pollution Prevention.

By any objective measure, Carol Ann is an exceptional, highly successful public servant. Readers who are members of the ABA’s Administrative Law Section may recognize Carol Ann as an active Section member and leader. She co-chaired the 2015 Administrative Law Conference and was the 2018 winner of the Mary C. Lawton Award for Outstanding Government Service. The federal government has recognized Carol Ann’s extraordinary contributions through a long series of well-deserved awards over the course of her career. She has earned a reputation among her colleagues as a steadfast, innovative, pragmatic leader deeply committed to EPA’s mission.

Even beyond EPA, Carol Ann has earned a national reputation as an expert in administrative law and procedure. A testament to this is that she was among the first class of Government Members to be appointed to the Administrative Conference of the United States (ACUS) when it got up and running again in 2010. It’s through ACUS that I had the great pleasure to work with and get to know Carol Ann. In 2010, I also joined ACUS–on the staff, as an attorney advisor. For several years, I served as staff counsel to the Committee on Rulemaking, to which Carol Ann was assigned.

ACUS has an impressive roster of accomplished administrative law experts and public servants, but even in this shining environment, Carol Ann is a bright light. Despite her demanding responsibilities at EPA, she is a consistently engaged member of ACUS. She is always well prepared and can be relied upon to attend and participate in committee meetings and Plenary sessions. She often provides comments and suggestions on draft and proposed recommendations, including those prepared by committees to which she is not assigned. Carol Ann’s comments are always thoughtful and well-informed; grounded in sound values and ideals and yet also profoundly practical. She is extremely good at facilitating compromise on hard issues, but has the sound judgment to know when to stand her ground. She has represented EPA (and government agencies generally) exceptionally well. And she has fulfilled her duty with enthusiasm, kindness, and humility. ACUS’s work has been measurably improved by Carol Ann’s contributions.

This tribute is especially timely because Carol Ann will retire at the end of July. Even after she leaves EPA, Carol Ann (fortunately for all of us!) plans to remain active in the administrative law community. I wish her the best as she embarks on this new chapter. At the same time, I look forward to many more years of her expertise, energy, and inspiration!

In recognition of her retirement, it seems fitting to give Carol Ann the last words here. She has kindly offered the following:

Surrounded by exceptionally bright, caring and dedicated people, I’ve joyously embraced the opportunities and challenges of my EPA career. Public service invites us to listen to many competing views and honor the good intentions in each. Drawing upon courage, generosity and our call to promote the public good, I and my government colleagues try to find a way — every day — to help the Nation we are privileged to serve. How profoundly grateful I am to public servants everywhere.

This post is part of the ABA Administrative Law Section Series Celebrating Public Service; all the posts in the series are collected here

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