White House Taps Utah Law Professor John Ruple for Council on Environmental Quality

Sep 26, 2022 | Faculty


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Ruple’s appointment adds his expertise in public lands and resources management to the White House Council on Environmental Quality, which advises the president and has a critical role in improving and protecting the country’s public health and environment.

University of Utah S.J. Quinney College of Law Professor John Ruple is joining the Biden Administration to serve as senior counsel in the White House Council on Environmental Quality (CEQ). The CEQ coordinates federal efforts to improve, preserve, and protect America’s public health and environment; advises the president; and develops policies on climate change, environmental justice, Federal sustainability, public lands, oceans, and wildlife conservation, among other areas.

Ruple will take leave but remain on the College of Law faculty during his service at the CEQ.

“I am deeply honored to be joining the Biden-Harris administration’s team at CEQ,” said Ruple. “Addressing climate change, supporting clean energy development, and doing so in ways that promote equity are top priorities of this administration. I will work hard to advance those efforts.”

At the S.J. Quinney College of Law, Ruple leads the Wallace Stegner Center for Land, Resources and the Environment’s Law and Policy Program. His scholarship focuses on management of public lands and the resources those lands contain. Ruple has more than two decades of experience working on public land management issues: Before joining the University of Utah, he served as an attorney in private practice, a public land policy analyst under Utah Governor John Huntsman Jr., and an environmental consultant managing complex permitting projects.

“We are excited that John will be engaging on pressing climate, energy, and environmental justice issues as part of the Council on Environmental Quality,” said College of Law Dean Elizabeth Kronk Warner. “Our Wallace Stegner Center is one of the nation’s preeminent environmental law research centers, and John’s selection to join CEQ exemplifies this. While we will miss him during his time at CEQ, we know that he will have invaluable experiences to share with our students when he returns.”

“John’s public service embodies the Stegner Center’s commitment to impactful scholarship that addresses pressing real-world issues,” echoed Stegner Center Director Bob Keiter. “He will be a great addition to the CEQ.”