Governor Roy Cooper named Michael S. Regan Secretary of the N.C. Department of Environmental Quality on Jan. 3, 2017.
As DEQ secretary, Regan oversees the state agency whose mission is to protect North Carolina’s environment and natural resources. The organization has offices from the mountains to the coast and administers regulatory and public assistance programs aimed at protecting the quality of North Carolina’s air, water and land, its coastal fisheries, and the public’s health.
Regan joins the Cooper administration after more than 18 years of professional experience focused on overcoming complex challenges through environmental advocacy and regulation. Most recently, he served as the Associate Vice President of U.S. Climate and Energy and Southeast Regional Director of the Environmental Defense Fund. He led the Environmental Defense Fund’s efforts to reduce the impacts of climate change and air quality pollution.
Prior to that, Regan worked with the Environmental Protection Agency’s air quality and energy programs for the Clinton and Bush administrations. Before leaving the agency, Regan served as a national program manager responsible for designing programs aimed at reducing pollution, and market-based solutions to improve energy efficiency, air quality and climate-related challenges.
Regan also founded M. Regan & Associates, LLC, a firm dedicated to helping organizations find transformational solutions to complex energy, environmental and economic challenges.
Regan has served on several boards and commissions focused on the environment. They include the UNC School of Law Center for Climate, Energy, Environment and Economics, Green 2.0, N.C. Commission on Global Climate Change, the N.C. Energy Policy Council and the Executive Steering Committee of Envision Charlotte.
A native of Goldsboro, N.C., Regan has a bachelor’s degree in Earth and Environmental Science from N.C. Agricultural and Technical State University and a master’s degree in Public Administration from George Washington University.
Regan and his wife, Melvina, and their son, Matthew, live in Raleigh.