Tomás Carbonell ’02 Joins the EPA Leadership Team

Article by Hubert Winston | Department of Chemical and Bioengineering

Tomas Carbonell

NC State Department of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering alum Tomás E. Carbonell ’02 is the newly-appointed Deputy Assistant Administrator for Stationary Sources in the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Office of Air and Radiation. According to the EPA news release, “The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency today announced key members of the agency’s incoming leadership team who will advance the Biden-Harris administration’s agenda to tackle the climate crisis, advance environmental justice and create clean energy jobs.”

According to the EPA web site:

“The Office of Air and Radiation (OAR) develops national programs, policies, and regulations for controlling air pollution and radiation exposure. OAR is concerned with pollution prevention and energy efficiency, indoor and outdoor air quality, industrial air pollution, pollution from vehicles and engines, radon, acid rain, stratospheric ozone depletion, climate change, and radiation protection.

“OAR is responsible for administering the Clean Air Act, the Atomic Energy Act, the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant Land Withdrawal Act, and other applicable environmental laws.” (

Tomás attended NC State as a Park Scholar and graduated summa cum laude in 2002 with degrees in chemical engineering (B.S.), economics (B.S.), and multidisciplinary studies (B.A.). Pursuing his passion for international environmental law and policy, he went on to earn master’s degrees in Environmental Change and Management (with distinction) and Economics for Development at the University of Oxford in the U.K., where he was NC State’s first Marshall Scholar.

After his U.K. studies Tomás earned a J.D. degree from the Yale University School of Law. Following a stint as an Associate at Van Ness Feldman, LLP, where he counseled diverse clients on federal legal and regulatory matters related to climate change, clean energy, and environmental and electricity regulation, he moved to the Environmental Defense Fund (EDF).

At the EDF Tomás held a number of positions, most recently as Senior Counsel and Director of Regulatory Policy for EDF’s U.S. Clean Air program. In a congratulatory press release, EDF President Fred Krupp made the statement: “Tomás Carbonell is one of the nation’s leading Clean Air Act experts. He operates with the highest degree of integrity, and has dedicated his tenure at EDF to protecting human health and the environment, advancing climate progress, and providing clean air and environmental justice for all. It has been a joy working with Tomás and I congratulate him on his appointment to serve at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. They are lucky to have him.”

Finally, it needs to be noted that Tomás is the son of proud parents Augie (Augustina) and Ruben Carbonell. Ruben is the Frank Hawkins Kenan Distinguished Professor of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering.

Congratulations to Tomás for your outstanding accomplishments and good luck with this important assignment!

This article was originally published by the Department of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering.