Release 03-03      

January 31, 2003


Jerry Martin
(916) 322-2990

Richard Varenchik
(626) 575-6730
ARB Appoints New Executive Officer

-- The California Air Resources Board (ARB) today appointed Catherine Witherspoon as its new Executive Officer.

"After working with Catherine during my tenure as Chairman I have been constantly impressed with her boundless energy, tremendous talent and her passion for clean air. Itís gratifying to be Chairman at the time the ARB has selected its first woman executive officer," said ARB Chairman, Alan Lloyd.

Witherspoon began her career in air quality as a student assistant with the ARB in 1981 and has held a variety of air quality positions since, including Legislative Director for the South Coast Air Quality Management District, ARB Assistant Executive Officer and most recently ARB Senior Policy Advisor.

As Executive Officer, Witherspoon is responsible for the agency's day-to-day operation, including directing the staff to carry out Board policy, assisting its members and overseeing preparation of technical material for Board consideration. The Executive Officer also reviews legislative proposals and represents the ARB before other governmental agencies, public and private organizations and the Legislature. She oversees approximately 1100 employees and serves at the Boardís pleasure.

The California Air Resources Board is widely recognized as the nation's leading state air pollution control agency. The Board has set some of the nation's most advanced ambient air quality standards and developed some of the most innovative emission reduction strategies for cars, trucks and buses. The ARB also sets emission standards that are often adopted by other states and nations for fuels, consumer products and toxic air contaminants.

Witherspoon replaces Michael P. Kenny, who was recently appointed by Governor Gray Davis as a Sacramento County Superior Court judge.

The Air Resources Board is a department of the California Environmental Protection Agency. ARB's mission is to promote and protect public health, welfare, and ecological resources through effective reduction of air pollutants while recognizing and considering effects on the economy. The ARB oversees all air pollution control efforts in California to attain and maintain health based air quality standards.

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Catherine Witherspoon
California Air Resources Board
Executive Officer

Ms. Witherspoon has more than 21 years of air quality experience at the state, local and federal level.

For the past four years, she has served as the Senior Policy Advisor to the ARB Chairman, Dr. Alan C. Lloyd.

Prior to rejoining ARB in 1999, Ms. Witherspoon was Legislative Director for the South Coast Air Quality Management District in Southern California (1995-1997), served briefly as an Expert Consultant to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Region IX in San Francisco (1995), and was the sole proprietor of an air quality consulting firm (1998).

Former ARB Assistant Executive Officer from 1991-1994, Ms. Witherspoon also served as ARBís Chief of Air Quality Planning between 1989-1991, and as Legislative Representative from 1985-1988. Ms. Witherspoon began her career at ARB as a student assistant in 1981.

Ms. Witherspoon holds a B.A. in Politics from the University of California, Santa Cruz.