Hi, this is Bob Perciasepe. I’m honored to serve as acting administrator of @epagov
— Bob Perciasepe, EPA (@EPAadm) February 15, 2013
I’m sorry, who? I mean, nice to meet you, Bob! Welcome aboard, I guess.
As fans of the “United States Government” may know, EPA Administrator Lisa P. Jackson recently resigned her position. The president has not yet identified a pick to succeed her — though there is some speculation that he might select Gina McCarthy, the agency’s assistant administrator for air. And even once selected, that pick would have to be confirmed by the Senate. And so: Bob Perciasepe. (His last name is pronounced per-spih-CAY-shus, probably.)
Because I am a journalist, I Googled Mr. P. He has a Wikipedia page! He grew up in Westchester County, near New York City, went to school at Syracuse and Cornell, and served as Baltimore’s city planner. Eventually, he became deputy secretary of Maryland’s Department of the Environment, and then the state’s secretary of the environment. In 1993, Bill Clinton appointed him to the EPA’s office dealing with water. In 2009, Obama made him deputy administrator of the EPA.
And now this! Acting administrator of the EPA. He even gets a bio at the agency’s website, which heralds him as “an expert on environmental stewardship, advocacy, public policy, and national resource and organizational management,” who is “widely respected within both the environmental and U.S. business communities,” so that sounds good. If his tweet actually came from him, he is also a down-to-earth guy, using the casual “hi” form of greeting instead of the traditional “hello.” Does he know other things about Twitter, like to do a dot in front of a username if you want all of your followers to see the message? I don’t know. It wasn’t on his Wikipedia page.
Hi, Bob. Welcome. If history is any guide, you’ll be acting administrator for between four days and four months. Make the most of it! But just a heads up: The Republicans are trying to undermine the agency you now lead and would happily host a picnic to watch the EPA building be torn down. I strongly recommend one of two courses of action: generate some online outrage using your mad Twitter skillz, or hunker down in your office with the door locked until Obama appoints an administrator.
You may have lived in Baltimore, but you’re in D.C. now.