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Paul Anastas

File:Paul Anastas 2.jpg
Paul Anastas in Ethiopia. November, 2010.

Paul T. Anastas (born May 16, 1962 in Quincy, Massachusetts)[1] is the Director of Yale University's Center for Green Chemistry and Green Engineering,[2] Previously he served as the Science Advisor to the United States Environmental Protection Agency[3] as well as the Agency's Assistant Administrator for Research and Development, appointed by President Barack Obama.[4]


Anastas is known widely as the "Father of Green Chemistry"[5] for his ground-breaking work on the design and manufacture of chemicals that are non-hazardous and environmentally benign. He is also a champion of sustainability science and innovation for environmental protection.

Anastas has brought worldwide attention to the power of molecular design and help for the environment.[6] He has published scores of articles as well as ten books,[7] including his seminal work with co-author John Warner,[8] Green Chemistry: Theory and Practice. His and Warner's 12 Principles of Green Chemistry are the basis for high school, college and graduate programs around the world[9] and have significantly altered the landscape of the chemicals industry in the United States and other countries.[10]

Anastas began his career as a staff chemist at the EPA, where he coined the term "Green Chemistry" and launched the field's first research program. He went on to found the Green Chemistry Institute[11] at the American Chemical Society and serve in the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy from 1999 to 2004, where he concluded service as Assistant Director for the Environment. Dr. Anastas returned to EPA in 2009 as the Assistant Administrator for EPA's Office of Research and Development (ORD) and the Science Advisor to the Agency, resigning from those positions in February 2012 to return to Yale and his family. In his role as Assistant Administrator, he worked to engage scientists, engineers, and stakeholders across EPA, the federal government, and the scientific community to unify around the common goal of sustainability.[12] Anastas is currently the Director of Yale University's Center for Green Chemistry and Green Engineering,[2] where he holds the Theresa and H. John Heinz chair in Chemistry for the Environment.

Early Life and Education

Anastas was born and raised in Quincy, Massachusetts. He developed an interest in science and environmental issues after witnessing the wetlands behind his childhood home get bulldozed and destroyed for a development project.[13] As a teenager in Quincy, Anastas met and developed a close friendship with fellow green chemist John Warner. The pair have since co-authored several scientific papers and books, including the 12 Principles of Green Chemistry.[14] Anastas retains a noticeable Boston accent and is a devoted fan of his hometown baseball team, the Boston Red Sox.[13]

He is trained as a synthetic organic chemist. He earned his B.S. from the University of Massachusetts Boston and his M.A. and Ph.D. in chemistry from Brandeis University.


File:Paul Anastas at Koshland Science Museum.jpg
Paul Anastas instructing a student at the Koshland Science Museum. Washington DC, 2010.
Anastas and his work have been featured in several popular media outlets, including:

Public Speaking

File:Paul Anastas speaking.jpg
Paul Anastas speaking on Earth Day. April, 2010
Anastas is known for delivering energetic, engaging public talks that challenge audience members to think differently about environmental challenges.[20] His speeches have been called "thought provoking",[21] "inspiring",[22] and "optimistic".[23] He has been featured as a keynote speaker at several prestigious meetings, conferences and events, including:


Anastas has been recognized for his pioneering work with several awards, including:

Anastas was a Special Professor at the University of Nottingham[32][36] and an Honorary Professor at Queens University of Belfast where he was also was awarded an Honorary Doctorate.[32][37]


  1. ^ David E. Newton: Chemistry of the Environment. Infobase Publishing, 2009, ISBN 978-1-438-10974-9, p. 185.
  2. ^ a b Center for Green Chemistry and Green Engineering at Yale
  3. ^ Anastas EPA Bio
  4. ^ Brandeis Now News Article
  5. ^ "ACS Green Chemistry at a Glance"
  6. ^ Anastas Article on Molecular Design
  7. ^ Anastas Book List
  8. ^ John Warner Bio
  9. ^ Green Chemistry Education Programs
  10. ^ GreenBiz Article on Green Chemistry
  11. ^ Green Chemistry Institute Website
  12. ^ a b C&EN: Mr. Sustainability Goes to Washington
  13. ^ a b c "Green Chemistry Guru Charting New Course at EPA". The New York Times.
  14. ^ OnEarth: Pure Chemistry
  15. ^ Radio Times Interview: Paul T. Anastas the Father of Green Chemistry
  16. ^ Nature: Chemistry: It's Not Easy Being Green
  17. ^ Yale Scientific: Paul Anastas: A Power Player in the Global Chemical Industry
  18. ^ Living on Earth Interview: Sustainable Science at EPA
  19. ^ Market Place Interview: EPA Scientist Advocates Green Chemistry
  20. ^ Thinking Differently
  21. ^ University of Leeds: Industrial Club Talk
  22. ^ EPA Blog: Nifty Fifty Talk
  23. ^ Sustainable Living Blog: ACS Green Chemistry Talk
  24. ^ ACUPCC Climate Summit
  25. ^ Priestley Lecture
  26. ^ UN Roundtable
  27. ^ Albemarle Lecture
  28. ^ GreenBiz
  29. ^ Borlaug Lecture
  30. ^ Natural Products Insider: Rachel Carson Award
  31. ^ Yale University Press Release: Leadership in Science Award
  32. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k Paul Canasta Official House Science Committee Testimony
  33. ^ Royal Society of Chemistry Press Release: John Jeyes Award
  34. ^ C&EN: Anastas Wins Heinz Award
  35. ^ ACS Press Release: Sci Am 50 Award
  36. ^ Alfred University Press Release: Anastas
  37. ^ Encyclopedia of Earth Entry: Paul Anastas

External links