Michael Shapiro retired after serving in the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) for 37 years (1980-2017), much of that time as a senior manager responsible for developing, executing, and managing programs encompassing the broad scope of the agency's programs. As a Division Director in the Office of Pollution Prevention and Toxics, he led development of the Toxics Release Inventory, the first national accounting of releases of toxic substances. As Deputy Assistant Administrator (DAA) for Air and Radiation, he led major elements of the implementation of the Clean Air Act amendments of 1990, and reforms to the radiation program. As Director of the Office of Resource Conservation and Recovery, he led development of major rules regulating the disposal of hazardous wastes and significant reforms to the Corrective Action cleanup program. As DAA of the Office of Land and Emergency Management, he had significant responsibility for managing elements of the Superfund and Underground Storage Tank programs and for developing and promoting the Brownfields program.
During Dr. Shapiro’s final 15 years at EPA, he served as DAA in the Office of Water, which is responsible for the agency's Clean Water Act and Safe Drinking Act Water programs. He championed development of the Urban Waters Program, which promoted community engagement in the restoration and use of urban waterways and featured an innovative partnership among components of 14 federal agencies. This program was recognized with a Service to America (“Sammie”) Medal by the Partnership for Public Service.
Dr. Shapiro managed the agency’s largest program budget, including over $2 billion per year in infrastructure funding through grants and loans for drinking water and wastewater facilities. Throughout his career, he represented the EPA at high-level meetings with officials of other federal agencies, and with state, local, and tribal officials. He also presented testimony before congressional committees and represented the United States in international meetings.
Dr. Shapiro received Master of Science (1972) and Ph.D. (1976) degrees in Environmental Engineering from Harvard University, and then joined the faculty of Harvard’s Department of City and Regional Planning as an Assistant, and later as an Associate Professor (1976-1980).
Dr. Shapiro was appointed in December 2021 to serve on EMAB as a special government employee and provide expert advice on environmental health, stewardship, and justice; large project planning; intergovernmental and stakeholder engagement; and risk assessment.