Paul Anastas

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Paul Anastas in Ethiopia. November, 2010.

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


Anastas is known widely as the "Father of Green Chemistry"[4] 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 for the environment.[5] He has published scores of articles as well as ten books,[6] including his seminal work with co-author John Warner,[7] Green Chemistry: Theory and Practice. His 12 Principles of Green Chemistry are the basis for high school, college and graduate programs around the world[8] and have significantly altered the landscape of the chemicals industry in the United States and other countries.[9]

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[10] 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.[11] Anastas is currently the Director of Yale University's Center for Green Chemistry and Green Engineering,[1] where he holds the Theresa and H. John Heinz chair in Chemistry for the Environment.

Early Life and Education[edit]

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 for a development project.[12] 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.[13] Anastas retains a noticeable Boston accent and is a devoted fan of his hometown baseball team, the Boston Red Sox.[12]

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.


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[edit]

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.[19] His speeches have been called "thought provoking",[20] "inspiring",[21] and "optimistic".[22] 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[31][35] and an Honorary Professor at Queens University of Belfast where he was also was awarded an Honorary Doctorate.[31][36]


External links[edit]