Areas of expertise: Climate, energy, water and air pollution, toxics, natural resource management and waste issues
Diane is responsible for developing Environmental Defense Fund’s overall strategy, as well as driving and delivering on the organization’s vision. A lifelong environmental advocate, Diane is optimistic and solutions-oriented. She excels at finding effective partners and practical responses to complex environmental problems that encourage prosperity and stewardship both domestically and internationally.
Diane expanded the scope and ambition of EDF’s latest strategic plan, and everything she does at EDF is in service to the plan’s success. From her work redirecting and recalibrating the organization’s approach to global climate change to identifying new ways to open markets to clean energy financing, Diane’s deep expertise and leadership guide all aspects of EDF’s work, in close partnership with President Fred Krupp.
Prior to joining EDF in 2006, Diane spent 20 years developing and supporting scientifically sound bipartisan solutions to environmental challenges at Environmental Protection Agency, where she managed billions of dollars and thousands of employees.
“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.” Carol Browner, President Clinton’s EPA Administrator, said that Diane “has [for decades] proven herself a steadfast defender of our environment and public health.”
Diane has consistently demonstrated a commitment to strong science and bipartisan solutions throughout her career. She’s served both Republican and Democratic presidents; Diane advised President Clinton as a senior policy analyst in the White House on environmental and natural resource issues, and she also chaired President George W. Bush’s interagency task force on oceans.
Her 20 years at EPA were defined by award-winning work protecting our rivers, lakes, bays, and oceans. After the 9/11 attacks, Diane led EPA efforts to protect U.S. drinking water. She conceived and implemented a +$100 million effort to quickly ramp up our understanding of drinking water security and the actions required to address these threats, in partnership with national labs and state and local governments.
In 2003 she received a Presidential Rank Award for “exceptional long-term accomplishments,” one of the most prestigious awards for civil service employees.
Over the five years she led EDF’s Oceans program, Diane quadrupled EDF’s work in this sector, advocating reforms in the United States, Europe, and Mexico. These reforms put overfishing on the decline and have so far saved enough fish to provide 17 million people their seafood for an entire year.
In the five years that followed, when Diane led EDF’s full suite of programs, she grew EDF’s climate work and created new paths for clean energy choices around the world. Through partnerships and EDF’s signature focus on science and economics, Diane has empowered EDF staff around the world to deliver cleaner air, safer products, and stronger ecosystems that support all life on earth.
Diane was admitted to the U.S. Supreme Court Bar in 2006 and the California Bar in 1987 (now inactive). She lives in California with her husband, who is also an environmental advocate, and is a proud mother and grandmother.
University of California, Berkeley, J.D., M.S. (Energy and Resources), A.B. (History)