Paul Anastas

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Paul T. Anastas
Assistant Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency for Research and Development
In office
PresidentBarack Obama
Personal details
Born (1962-05-16) May 16, 1962 (age 62)
Quincy, Massachusetts, U.S.
(m. 2006)
EducationUniversity of Massachusetts Boston
Brandeis University

Paul T. Anastas (born May 16, 1962, in Quincy, Massachusetts)[1] is an American scientist, inventor, author, entrepreneur, professor, and public servant. He is the Director of Yale University's Center for Green Chemistry and Green Engineering,[2] Previously he served as the Science Advisor to the United States Environmental Protection Agency[3] as well as the Agency's Assistant Administrator for Research and Development, appointed by President Barack Obama.[4]


Anastas is known widely for his 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 to help the environment.[5] He has published scores of articles as well as fifteen books,[6] including his seminal work with co-author John Warner,[7] Green Chemistry: Theory and Practice. Their 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"[10] and launched the field's first research program. He went on to co-found the Green Chemistry Institute in 1997[11] at the American Chemical Society and served in the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy from 1999 to 2004, where he concluded service as Assistant Director for the Environment. 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.[12] He co-founded the chemical manufacturing company, P2 Science in 2011, the catalysis company, Catalytic Innovations in 2017, and Inkemia Green Chemicals in 2017. Anastas is currently the Director of Yale University's Center for Green Chemistry and Green Engineering,[2] where he holds the Theresa and H. John Heinz chair in Chemistry for the Environment.

Early life[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 and destroyed for a development project.[13] When he was nine years old he received an “Award of Excellence” from President Richard Nixon for his “outstanding achievements in environmental protection” for his essay on the founding of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. 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.[14] Anastas retains a noticeable Boston accent and is a devoted fan of his hometown baseball team, the Boston Red Sox.[13]

He is trained as a synthetic organic chemist. He earned his B.S. in chemistry 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.[20] His speeches have been called "thought provoking",[21] "inspiring",[22] and "optimistic".[23] He has been featured as a keynote speaker at several prestigious meetings, conferences and events, including:


Anastas has been recognized for his work with several awards, including:

Anastas was a special professor at the University of Nottingham[43][48] and an honorary professor at Queens University of Belfast where he was also awarded an honorary doctorate.[43][49]


  1. ^ David E. Newton: Chemistry of the Environment. Infobase Publishing, 2009, ISBN 978-1-438-10974-9, p. 185.
  2. ^ a b "Center for Green Chemistry & Green Engineering at Yale |".
  3. ^ US EPA, ORD (June 10, 2013). "Research".
  4. ^ "President Obama nominates Paul Anastas, MS'87, PhD'90, to EPA post". BrandeisNOW.
  5. ^ Voutchkova, Adelina M.; Ferris, Lori A.; Zimmerman, Julie B.; Anastas, Paul T. (January 30, 2010). "Toward molecular design for hazard reduction—fundamental relationships between chemical properties and toxicity". Tetrahedron. 66 (5): 1031–1039. doi:10.1016/j.tet.2009.11.002 – via ScienceDirect.
  6. ^ "Books by Paul T. Anastas (Author of Green Chemistry)".
  7. ^ "John Warner Bio". Archived from the original on January 29, 2010.
  8. ^ "Account Suspended".
  9. ^ "GreenBiz Article on Green Chemistry". Archived from the original on 2018-08-04. Retrieved 2011-06-16.
  10. ^ a b "Paul Anastas: A Power Player in the Global Chemical Industry – Yale Scientific Magazine".
  11. ^ "American Chemical Society". American Chemical Society.
  12. ^ a b "C&EN: Mr. Sustainability Goes to Washington".
  13. ^ a b c "Green Chemistry Guru Charting New Course at EPA". The New York Times.
  14. ^ "OnEarth: Pure Chemistry".
  15. ^ Bettenhausen, Craig (2022-09-02). "Paul Anastas and His Crew are Coming to Green Up Your World". Chemical & Engineering News.
  16. ^ "Radio Times Interview: Paul T. Anastas the Father of Green Chemistry". Archived from the original on 2017-01-25. Retrieved 2011-06-24.
  17. ^ "Nature News & Comment".
  18. ^ International, Living on Earth / World Media Foundation / Public Radio. "Living on Earth: Sustainable Science at EPA". Living on Earth.
  19. ^ Market Place Interview: EPA Scientist Advocates Green Chemistry Archived 2011-05-07 at the Wayback Machine
  20. ^ "Thinking Differently".
  21. ^ "University of Leeds: Industrial Club Talk". Archived from the original on March 7, 2012.
  22. ^ "EPA Blog: Nifty Fifty Talk". Archived from the original on October 8, 2011.
  23. ^ "Sustainable Living Blog: ACS Green Chemistry Talk". Archived from the original on 2010-07-12. Retrieved 2011-06-25.
  24. ^ "Home | Presidents' Climate Commitment | Insiderguiden til New York-hoteller". Archived from the original on March 11, 2012.
  25. ^ "UN Roundtable".
  26. ^ "Albemarle Lecture". Archived from the original on 2015-04-02. Retrieved 2015-03-26.
  27. ^ "GreenBiz". Archived from the original on 2011-11-05. Retrieved 2011-10-08.
  28. ^ "Borlaug Lecture".
  29. ^ Volvo, A. B. ""Father of Green Chemistry" wins Volvo Environment Prize 2021". (Press release).
  30. ^ "UMass Boston's 50th Commencement Ceremonies Begin Today - University of Massachusetts Boston". Retrieved 2019-04-11.
  31. ^ US EPA, REG 01 (2017-05-03). "2017 Environmental Merit Award Recipients". US EPA. Retrieved 2019-04-11.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: numeric names: authors list (link)
  32. ^ "Honors for Anastas Include Lifetime Achievement Award from U.S. EPA". 27 September 2017. Retrieved 2019-04-11.
  33. ^ "2017-2018 Lecturers". Retrieved 2019-04-11.
  34. ^ "Recent Award Recipients | AEESP". Retrieved 2019-04-11.
  35. ^ "Green Chemistry Award 2016 Winner". Retrieved 2019-04-11.
  36. ^ "Convocation 2016: Celebrating the class of 2016, Paul Anastas and Tomislav Friscic". Department of Chemistry. Retrieved 2019-04-11.
  37. ^ "Anastas Awarded Merck Prize for Pioneering Work in Green Chemistry". 12 May 2015. Retrieved 2019-04-11.
  38. ^ "Wöhler-Preis für Nachhaltige Chemie an Paul Anastas". (in German). Retrieved 2019-04-11.
  39. ^ "Stibitz & Wilson Honorees1997-2018". Archived from the original on 2017-11-07. Retrieved 2019-04-11.
  40. ^ "Alumni Association| Brandeis University". Retrieved 2019-04-11.
  41. ^ "Natural Products Insider: Rachel Carson Award". Archived from the original on 2011-03-26. Retrieved 2011-06-24.
  42. ^ Yale University Press Release: Leadership in Science Award Archived 2012-07-17 at
  43. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k "Dr. Paul Anastas | IBM Center for the Business of Government".
  44. ^ "Archive". Royal Society of Chemistry.
  45. ^ "C&EN: Anastas Wins Heinz Award".
  46. ^ "Heinz Awards - Paul Anastas".
  47. ^ "ACS Press Release: Sci Am 50 Award".
  48. ^ "Alfred University Press Release: Anastas". Archived from the original on 2011-09-27. Retrieved 2011-06-24.
  49. ^ "Search - The Encyclopedia of Earth".

External links[edit]