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Profiles of Members of EPA's Asian-American and Pacific Islander Community: Jack Guen-Murray

Profiles of Members of EPA's Asian-American and Pacific Islander Community

A young man smiling Jack Guen-Murray
Office of Regional and Bilateral Affairs – Asia-Pacific and Europe Team
Washington, DC

Where were you born?

I was born in Boston, MA, but I grew up in Chicago, IL.

What brought you to EPA?

My family raised me to be conscious of the environment and to live accordingly. I enjoy rock climbing, fishing, and hiking, so giving back what I can to the environment is important to me. During my Peace Corps service in China (2013-15), I implemented a number of environmental programs for college students. In graduate school, I studied how transboundary and domestic environmental and energy issues impact human conflict. While in graduate school, I was hired at EPA and did full-time work and part-time graduate school for two years.

What type of work do you do at EPA?

I co-manage EPA’s international cooperation with Taiwan and many partners in Asia to address issues like air quality, mercury monitoring, and environmental law enforcement and compliance, etc. Mainly, I manage the implementation of international environmental programs, coordinate foreign delegations, and complete agency duties associated with countries in the Asian region, among other things.

What is your highest level of education? What was your major?

I graduated from The George Washington University’s Elliott School of International Affairs with a M.A.. I studied environmental and energy security in Asia.

What message would you like to send other Asian Americans who are considering college or a career in environmental protection?

From my current position, I see the field of environmental protection broken down into two pools of expertise: scientists (specialists) and professionals (generalists). I would encourage anyone considering environmental protection as a career path to think of learning skills that fit into these categories. Building expertise in a scientific field and knowing how to manage people and budgets will allow for a lot of flexibility in their career. In my experience, most environmental protection staff in the U.S. and in foreign governments have advanced degrees in their particular field.

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