August 19, 1956 |
Austin, Texas, U.S.
|Residence||Scottsdale, Arizona, U.S.|
|Alma mater||Harvard College
Harvard Law School
James Strock (born August 19, 1956) is an American entrepreneur, author, speaker, and former senior-level public official. He is the author of three books on leadership, and a fourth on political reform in the United States. Based in Scottsdale, Arizona and Rancho Santa Fe, California, he is a frequent speaker at conferences and corporate events across the U.S. and in other nations. Strock previously served as the founding Secretary of the California Environmental Protection Agency, and as Assistant Administrator for Enforcement (chief law enforcement officer) of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.
Born in Austin, Texas, Strock graduated from Isidore Newman School in New Orleans, Louisiana. He received a bachelor’s degree from Harvard College (Phi Beta Kappa), and a juris doctor from Harvard Law School. While in law school he served as a teaching assistant to Professor Richard Neustadt of the Kennedy School of Government. He subsequently attended New College, Oxford for a year, sponsored by the Ambassadorial Scholarships program of Rotary International. He served to captain in the reserves, Judge Advocate General of the U.S. Army, 1989-96. He received the Ross Essay Prize of the American Bar Association in 1985. 
Strock served as a special assistant to U.S. EPA Administrator William Ruckelshaus (1983–85). From 1985-86 he served as special counsel to the United States Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works, reporting primarily to Senator Alan K. Simpson. He practiced environmental and corporate law for Davis Graham & Stubbs in Denver, Colorado in 1986-88. He served in the Reagan and George H. W. Bush administrations as general counsel of the United States Office of Personnel Management under Director Constance Horner (1988–89). He was appointed Assistant Administrator for Enforcement, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency by President Bush, and unanimously confirmed by the U.S. Senate, in 1989.  Reporting to Administrator William K. Reilly, he served until 1991. 
In 1991 California Governor Pete Wilson appointed Strock to his cabinet as the founding Secretary for Environmental Protection.  Strock served through May 1997. Among the honors accorded the agency was an Innovations in American Government Award selected by the Ford Foundation and the Kennedy School at Harvard. During this time he served as a member of the Intergovernmental Policy Advisory Committee, Office of the U.S. Trade Representative.
Strock founded the Serve to Lead Group in 1997. The company provides services in leadership development, as well as in the environmental, social, and governance space. He speaks and writes frequently on topics in these areas. 
Strock is an independent member of the board of CVR Energy, a trustee of the Theodore Roosevelt Association, and a member of the Council on Foreign Relations and the Authors Guild.  He is a past member of the board of the Environmental Law Institute.
In 2010-12 Strock served as co-chair of the Arizona Governor’s Solar Energy Task Force. 
A longtime advocate of national service, Strock is a former member of the board of Youth Service America. In 1989 he proposed linking citizenship obligations and opportunities through a national program of "Citizen Service."
Strock appeared in the Showtime television series American Candidate. He has appeared on Fox, CNN, CSPAN, and other networks, and has written for or been quoted in many newspapers, including the Los Angeles Times, New York Times, USA Today, and San Jose Mercury News.
He served on the Founders Council of Unity 08, a technology-based, non-partisan reform initiative established to provide an alternative to the traditional party presidential candidates in the 2008 election. Formerly a member of the Republican Party, Strock is a registered Independent, committed to political reform.
In 2014 Strock was the keynote speaker at the annual Reagan Dinner, celebrating the birthday of the former president, hosted by the Ronald W. Reagan Society at Eureka College.
Disrupt Politics: Reset Washington, ISBN 978-0984077472.
Theodore Roosevelt on Leadership: Executive Lessons from the Bully Pulpit, ISBN 0-7615-1539-9.
- Who's Who in the World, Who’s Who in America.
- George Bush: "Nomination of James M. Strock To Be an Assistant Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency," August 4, 1989.
- Joel A. Mintz, Enforcement at the EPA: High Stakes and Hard Choices, University of Texas Press, revised ed., 2012, esp. pp. 87-104.
- Richard C. Paddock, “Wilson Picks U.S. Official to Run ‘Cal-EPA,” Los Angeles Times, January 30, 1991.
- "1996 Innovations in American Government Award Winners, Harvard University Gazette, January 23, 1997.
- Who's Who in the World, Who’s Who in America.
- Arizona Governor’s Solar Energy Task Force, 2011 Recommendations, December 23, 2011.
- James M. Strock, "Citizen Service: What You Can Do For Your Entitlements," Policy Review, March 1989, pp. 68-71.