Federal Coach: With the Chesapeake Bay, Solving a Complex Leadership Problem

Katherine Antos is a water-quality team leader in the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) Chesapeake Bay Program Office, where she led the creation and evaluation of state plans to reduce pollution in the Chesapeake Bay, the nation’s largest estuary, and one of the planet’s first identified “marine dead zones.” She previously worked for a private environmental consulting firm and for non-governmental organizations that work on land conservation and nature conservation issues. Antos was a 2011 Service to America Medal finalist in the Call to Service category. Tom Fox, author of the Washington Post’s Federal Coach blog, conducted the interview.

What aspects of this project appeal to you?

Cleaning up the Chesapeake Bay is a complex problem, and that really appeals to me because I honestly love problem-solving. I enjoy working on water-quality issues because water flows through communities and creates a sense of place. It’s also a basic need, in terms of ensuring public health and providing recreation opportunities. The most exciting aspect of working on a high-profile, complex project with many partners was that it brought together people who are leaders in their field, including scientists, decision-makers, practitioners and lawyers, for one common goal: creating a rigorous and accountable strategy for reducing pollution flowing into the Chesapeake Bay.

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