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Abstract: In February 1981, newly inaugurated President Ronald Reagan nominated Anne Gorsuch to become administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency. Her charter was to bring the Reagan Revolution to environmental policymaking. To the career executives within EPA, Gorsuch's administration represented a major change in the organization. The note provides background on the EPA at the time of Gorsuch's takeover, the Reagan administration's agenda for the agency, and the highlights of her brief reign, including the dispute with Congress over hazardous waste programs that led to her resignation. The remaining cases in this series profile the experiences of five career civil servants during her tenure: David Tundermann, Mike Walsh, Mike Cook, Bill Hedeman, and Gary Dietrich.
Learning Objective: The cases have been taught with a focus on the following objectives: 1) to illuminate the relationship between political appointees and careerists; 2) to explore the clash between an agency career staff generally beholden to existing policies and programs and an incoming group of appointees deeply committed to a sharp break with these policies and programs; 3) to explore approaches political appointees can take to managing an agency effectively, and, in particular, to enlisting support for, and hindering opposition to, their agenda from the career staff.