OTHER TOP POSITIONS: Head of the Environmental Protection Agency (1993-2000); head of Florida's environmental regulation (1991-1993); legislative director for then-senator Al Gore (1988-1991); chair of the Audubon Society; seat on Board of Directors of the Center for American Progress; most recently, a principal at The Albright Group
KNOWN FOR: Being a staunch and aggressive advocate of enforcing environmental laws and creating more progressive ones.
CONTROVERSIES: When Clinton tried to elevate her EPA post to the Cabinet, Republican lawmakers put up a fight, arguing that she advocated for overly restrictive environmental regulations that were bad for business interests. In 1995, under her watch, Congressional leaders from both parties accused the EPA of violating the Anti-Lobbying Act by faxing documents opposing a Republican-backed regulatory reform package to interest groups. When, in 1997, she successfully pushed for tougher clean air regulations, the Orlando Sentinel reported that many lawmakers thought she was difficult to work with. "The nation's mayors are unhappy. Chicago's Richard Daley and others have said the new limits could quash economic development in inner cities," the article said. The Philadelphia Inquirer reported that thousands protested the decision in letters to Browner, including one that read, "Take your proposed new clean-air standards and shove them, you Commie. ... If you would like authoritarianism, get the hell out of my country and go to Russia where you'll fit right in."
TRIVIA: Longest-serving EPA director (eight years); Glamour magazine's Woman of the Year in 1998; early supporter of Hillary Clinton's presidential bid.