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Seasoned Environmental Attorney and Pulitzer Journalist Join EWG As Chief of Staff and Executive Editor

For Immediate Release: 
Monday, October 5, 2009

WASHINGTON, DC—Heather White, a lawyer and former director of education advocacy for the National Wildlife Federation, has been named chief of staff and general counsel of the Environmental Working Group (EWG). Joining White is former Washington Post science editor and Pulitzer Prize winner, Nils Bruzelius.

In addition to her extensive management and legal responsibilities as the group’s new General Counsel, White oversees EWG’s government relations department.

Before her time with the National Wildlife Federation, White served as counsel to U.S. Senator Russell D. Feingold (D-Wis.) on energy and environmental issues from 2003 to 2005. She also served as EWG’s General Counsel for from 2001 to 2003. In 2000, White was a Recount attorney during the contested Presidential election and the deputy director of women’s outreach for Vice President Al Gore’s Presidential Campaign. White also was an associate at the law firm of Bass, Berry & Sims in Nashville, Tennessee.

“Heather’s leadership, political experience and solid grasp of the issues are just what’s needed as EWG moves forward with the largest policy campaign in our history,” said Ken Cook EWG’s co-founder and president. “The organization is currently spearheading environmentalists’ efforts to overhaul federal toxic chemicals law and policy, create a national energy policy based on sustainable resources and protect the nation’s natural resources."

White has appeared as an authority on environmental issues for a range of news organizations, among them CBS Morning News, National Public Radio, and The New York Times.

“I'm thrilled to be part of the most effective environmental health team in the country," White said of EWG. "I look forward to expanding EWG's roster of supporters and maintaining EWG’s strong and respected voice on Capitol Hill.”

White graduated magna cum laude from the University of Tennessee College of Law in 1999. She earned a Bachelor of Science degree in 1995 from the University of Virginia in environmental science.

Nils Bruzelius comes to EWG as its new Executive Editor, joining Editor-in-Chief Elaine Shannon, a 30-year veteran investigative journalist with Time and a best-selling author for her book Desperados: Latin Drug Lords, U.S. Lawmen, and the War America Can't Win.

Bruzelius, who retired from the Washington Post as its Deputy National Editor for Science earlier this year, began his career in journalism in 1968 with The Framingham News before joining The Associated Press in Boston. Nils went on to be a reporter, Health/Science editor and Foreign Editor at The Boston Globe. He left The Globe in 2001 for a stint as a Senior Editor on NPR’s Science Desk before joining the staff of the Washington Post in 2002.

“Bringing Nils on rounds out an editing and writing team with over 60 years of combined experience at the highest levels of journalism,” said Ken Cook.

“I’m just delighted to have landed here,” Bruzelius said. “EWG has an important story to tell and it bases that story on solid, original science. I hope and believe I can make a real contribution to getting that message out the largest possible audience of consumers and policy-makers.”

During his time at The Boston Globe, Nils received a Pulitzer as part of an investigative team for a 10-part series on corruption and waste in Boston’s public transit system.

White is married to David Diamond of the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service. The couple has two daughters and lives in Takoma Park, MD.

Nils, an avid sailor, has completed two trans-Atlantic crossings and numerous shorter ocean voyages. He’s an enthusiastic cycler and cross-country skier who has competed in various amateur races and long-distance events. He has a grown daughter and is married to Lynne Weil, Director of Communications for the House Committee on Foreign Affairs. They live on Capitol Hill.