Springfield State Journal Register

April 3, 2004

Thomas Skinner promoted within EPA by president


WASHINGTON - President Bush on Friday named Thomas Skinner, who heads the Environmental Protection Agency's Midwest office, to be the agency's acting assistant administrator for enforcement and compliance assurance.

The Chicago-based Skinner currently manages EPA programs for Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Minnesota, Ohio and Wisconsin. He has held that post since August 2001. He also is mayor of Lake Bluff.

Skinner couldn't be reached for comment. His press office was unaware of the White House announcement, made in a brief statement Friday evening.

Skinner previously has been mentioned for the top EPA post. After former EPA Administrator Christie Whitman resigned last summer, Skinner was mentioned by the New York Times as one of several frontrunners to replace her.  According to the newspaper, Skinner is regarded "as a loyal team player who does not have his own agenda."

Skinner was director of the Illinois EPA from January 1999, under then-Gov George Ryan, until joining the federal agency. Prior to that, Skinner worked in the environmental law department of the Winston & Strawn law firm of Chicago for eight years. He was a special assistant to Gov. James Thompson from 1988 to 1991.

He is the son of Sam Skinner, who was transportation secretary and then chief of staff to President George H.W. Bush, father of the current president.