WASHINGTON, D.C. - Kimberly L. Jones, Ph.D. (B.S. ’90), Howard University associate provost for faculty affairs, was recently named chair of the Science Advisory Board (SAB) by Michael S. Regan, Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) administrator. The SAB is an entity responsible for advising the EPA administrator. With the appointment, Jones becomes the first African American and the first representative from a historically Black college or university to chair the SAB.
Since its inception in 1978, the SAB has been responsible for reviewing the quality and relevance of scientific information used by the EPA, reviewing research programs and plans, providing science advice as requested by the EPA administrator, and advising the agency on broad scientific matters. The appointment shows that HBCUs, in general, and Howard, specifically, can have tremendous influence in the industry, Jones said.
“I am extremely honored that Administrator Regan has the confidence in me to chair the SAB. My appointment is a wonderful way to highlight the quality of faculty at HBCUs as well as the caliber of students that they put out,” said Jones, who majored in civil engineering while at Howard.
Jones, who is also a professor at Howard University’s Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, said she looks forward to serving as a role model for women and students of color seeking careers in STEM-related fields. She is also eager to focus her energy on supporting the environmental justice work done by the EPA, especially work that addresses environmental issues impacting marginalized communities. Most of the preliminary work of the SAB is done by subcommittees or panels focused on various environmental science topics with recommendations transmitted to the SAB for discussion and deliberation. Jones will lead the discussions and deliberations and serve as a trusted advisor to Regan and his leadership team.
Jones, who also earned a master’s degree in civil and environmental engineering from the University of Illinois and a doctorate in environmental engineering from Johns Hopkins University, is a fellow of the Association of Environmental Engineering and Science Professors and a board-certified environmental engineer member. Her research has focused on water and wastewater quality, global water treatment, environmental policy, and risk evaluation.
Prior to her appointment as chair of the SAB, Jones previously chaired the Drinking Water Committee of the SAB and was liaison to the National Drinking Water Advisory Council. She is an alternate commissioner of the Interstate Commission on the Potomac River Basin in Washington, D.C., where she chairs the committee on justice, equity, diversity, and inclusion.
Jones’ colleagues on the SAB represent a wide variety of organizations and institutions of higher learning, including the University of Texas at Austin, the University of California at Berkeley, the University of North Carolina - Chapel Hill, Syngeta, and the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation.
Howard University President Ben Vinson III, Ph.D. said Jones’ appointment to the SAB speaks to one of the reasons why he was attracted to coming to the University.
“I am immensely proud of what Dr. Jones has accomplished and her appointment says so much about all of the impressive work taking place here at Howard University,” President Vinson said. “It also speaks volumes to the impact women continue to make in STEM-related fields and I look forward to seeing how Dr. Jones’ voice and insight will positively contribute to work around environmental justice for all communities.”
Jones’ appointment on the SAB is effective through September 30, 2027.
About Howard University
Founded in 1867, Howard University is a private, research university that is comprised of 14 schools and colleges. Students pursue more than 140 programs of study leading to undergraduate, graduate and professional degrees. The University operates with a commitment to Excellence in Truth and Service and has produced two Schwarzman Scholars, four Marshall Scholars, four Rhodes Scholars, 12 Truman Scholars, 25 Pickering Fellows and more than 165 Fulbright recipients. Howard also produces more on-campus African American PhD. recipients than any other university in the United States. For more information on Howard University, visit www.howard.edu.