U.S. Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works

Obama nominates Hopkins professor for EPA post

Obama nominates Hopkins professor for EPA post

President Barack Obama has nominated a Johns Hopkins University professor to lead research at the Environmental Protection Agency — an appointment likely to stir controversy among senators concerned about the agency's reach.

Thomas A. Burke, an environmental epidemiologist at the Bloomberg School of Public Health and former New Jersey state official, would serve as an assistant administrator for the EPA's scientific research arm, among the agency's highest-profile divisions.

"He's incredibly thoughtful and enthusiastic," said Maryland Health Secretary Joshua M. Sharfstein, who said that as Baltimore's health commissioner he often relied on Burke's counsel....