Diane Regas Named Executive Director of Environmental Defense Fund

Fast-growing NGO announces new global structure; Gwen Ruta new SVP for Climate & Energy

May 28, 2015
Keith Gaby, 202-572-3336, kgaby@edf.org


Environmental Defense Fund, one of the world’s leading environmental non-profits, today announced the promotion of Diane Regas to Executive Director. Gwen Ruta was promoted to Senior Vice President for Climate & Energy, leading the organization’s diverse portfolio of climate solutions. Regas was formerly SVP for Programs, and Ruta was VP for Programs. 

“I am incredibly excited to have Diane in this new position,” said EDF President Fred Krupp. “She is one of the extraordinary leaders in the environmental community, with deep experience delivering effective solutions, and I am asking her to take on an enormous role as EDF continues to grow in the U.S. and around the world. I’m also very pleased that Gwen will be leading our climate team. This work is incredibly urgent but momentum is building — and with so many talented EDF staff working on the issue, only a leader of Gwen’s caliber can ensure we are meeting the challenge.”

Before joining EDF in 2006 Regas spent almost 20 years at the Environmental Protection Agency, serving in many roles, including as EPA’s top official responsible for protecting our nation’s rivers, lakes and drinking water. She served as an environmental policy advisor to President Bill Clinton and co-chaired President George W. Bush’s interagency task force on Oceans. Her bipartisan background across a range of issues makes her ideally suited to help lead EDF, a nonpartisan NGO that drives solutions to the world’s biggest environmental challenges, including Ocean, Ecosystems, and Health as well as Climate & Energy. At EDF, she previously led the Oceans Program, which has demonstrated remarkable success restoring fisheries and the communities that depend on them.

A wide range of stakeholders and business leaders hailed the appointment.

“Diane Regas has long been recognized as having star quality,” said William K. Reilly, who was EPA Administrator under President George H.W. Bush. “She is internationally respected for sound judgment, warm and congenial temperament, and can-do energy and resourcefulness. EDF and the entire environmental community will be well served by Diane Regas.”

Added Carol Browner, who worked with Regas when she was President’s Clinton’s EPA Administrator: “At a pivotal time in the environmental movement, with so much at stake and meaningful progress being made on everything from protecting our water sources, to cleaning our air and addressing climate change, EDF couldn’t have selected a stronger leader than Diane Regas. For decades, she has proven herself a steadfast defender of our environment and public health and I look forward to her leadership at EDF.”

“I can’t think of a better choice for EDF than Diane,” said Bob Perciasepe, president of the Center for Climate and Energy Solutions and former Deputy Administrator of EPA. “Not only is she smart and hardworking but she knows how important the organization’s mission is and how important the EDF team and supporters are to making it happen.”

The elevation of Regas and Ruta was announced as part of a new structure for the organization, which has been growing as it takes on an increasingly global set of challenges. With a staff of more than 450, EDF now works in Asia, Europe, and Latin America as well the United States. “Solving problems like climate change and overfishing require a global perspective and an international approach,” said Krupp. EDF recently published Blueprint 2020, which includes ambitious five-year strategies for all of its programs. The document is available at www.edf.org/Blueprint2020

“It is an exciting time at EDF as we grow and work with partners around the world to take on more of the toughest environmental challenges,” said Regas. “I think the changes announced today – including the elevation of many of my talented colleagues to new positions — will put us in an even better position to do what we do best: find effective partners and practical solutions to the thorniest environmental problems. I’m looking forward to helping to lead EDF’s truly outstanding staff. And I’m so pleased that Gwen Ruta has agreed to head up our climate team – she is an outstanding leader and a great friend.”

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Environmental Defense Fund (edf.org), a leading international nonprofit organization, creates transformational solutions to the most serious environmental problems. EDF links science, economics, law and innovative private-sector partnerships. Connect with us on EDF Voices, Twitter and Facebook.