Board of Directors

Mary D. Nichols

Mary D. Nichols

Vice Chair, California-China Climate Institute
Berkeley, CA

Mary D. Nichols is widely recognized for a career as one of the world’s most important environmental regulators. Nichols was appointed as Chair of the California Air Resources Board (CARB) under Governor Edmund G. Brown, Jr. (1975–82 and 2010–18), Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger (2007–2010) and Governor Gavin Newsom (2019–2020). As chair of CARB, California’s powerful air-pollution and climate regulatory agency, she led California’s leading battle to cut smog and carbon emissions. Under Nichols’ leadership, CARB enacted the first comprehensive cap on industrial greenhouse gas emissions by any major regulatory agency in the world. Nichols and CARB also crafted and enforced regulations that slashed air pollution from cars and light trucks by over 99%, paved the way for a new generation of advanced biofuels, and created the roadmap for a transition to a fully electrified transportation system. Currently, Nichols is a faculty member at the UCLA School of Law, affiliated with the Emmett Institute. She holds the positions of Vice-Chair at the China-California Climate Center and Co-Chair of the Coalition for Reimagined Mobility. Additionally, she is a Fellow at the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.


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