Heather McTeer Toney
Heather McTeer Toney was appointed by President Barack Obama as Regional Administrator for Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) Southeast Region, headquartered in Atlanta, GA. Prior to coming to the Region, she served as the first African-American, first female and at age 27; the youngest Mayor of Greenville, Mississippi from 2004-2012. Known for her energetic and genuine commitment to people, her work has made her a national figure in the area of public service, diversity and community engagement.
The daughter of a civil rights attorney and public school teacher, Heather was born and raised in Greenville, Mississippi. Throughout her legal career, she handled a diverse group of cases ranging from employment discrimination to medical malpractice; and was well versed in the corporate political arena. It was while working in Greenville, that she realized how many community needs were unattended. In 2003, she was elected Mayor of the City of Greenville and re-elected for a second term in 2007. Under her leadership, the city thrived, emerged from significant debt, and received millions of dollars in grants and federal assistance. Additionally, during her tenure as mayor, Greenville completed major infrastructure projects, and involved the community in numerous health and wellness initiatives throughout the city; focusing on local health, wellness, and women’s issues. She also served as an advocate, speaking out against domestic violence, unfair legislation and labor practices in the State of Mississippi.
Mrs. Toney has been responsible for protecting public health and the environment in the eight southeastern states, Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, North Carolina, Mississippi, South Carolina and Tennessee, as well as six federally recognized tribes; making Region 4 the most populated and diverse of ten regions. In addition, she led efforts to maintain and enhance the quality of work life for Region 4’s approximately 1,000 employees while effectively managing a budget of more than $500 million. As Regional Administrator for the southeastern United States, she focused on advancing the Administration's priorities of protecting public health and the environment, including: making a visible difference in communities across the country; addressing climate change and improving air quality; protecting water; a precious and limited resource; launching a new era of state, tribal and local partnerships; and working toward a sustainable future.
Heather has served in several roles throughout her career including as the Executive Director of the Center for Excellence in Student Learning at Mississippi Valley State University and owning her own businesses. She’s served as one of the National Spokeswomen for She Should Run!, a National Organization that encourages women to run for office. Heather is a 2005 Leadership Mississippi graduate and an expert with SheSource, a publication of the Women’s Media Center. Heather has worked around the world and is noted for advocating and training diverse officials on leadership in over 15 countries including Kenya, France, Portugal, Nigeria and Senegal.
Heather McTeer Toney has received numerous award and honors. She has appeared on news outlets such as CNN, Fox News, MSNBC and C-Span. She has been featured in the Washington Post, Jet Magazine, Essence Magazine and the Mississippi Business Journal. She is also a published author in, Voices of Historical and Contemporary Black American Pioneers Vol. 2. McTeer was featured in the May 2005 issue of Essence Magazine as one of the “50 Most Remarkable Women in the World.” She was featured in the November 2011 issue of Marie Claire magazine as the “Top Politician” in their annual “Women On Top” awards. Heather has been honored as one Atlanta’s “Top 40 under 40” by the Atlanta Business Chronicle (Class of 2015) and one of the National Bar Association’s “Top 40 Lawyers Under 40”. She was also recognized by Black Entertainment Television (BET) as a “Black Woman In Politics That Rock!” Recently Heather was included in the PBS/AOL documentary entitled “MAKERS”, where she appears alongside noted women such as Hilary Clinton and Condoleezza Rice.
Ms. Toney earned a bachelor’s degree in Sociology from Spelman College in Atlanta. She earned her law degree from the Tulane University School of Law. She is a member of the Mississippi Bar Association, and alumni of the Young Elected Officials Network. She also served as past president of the National Conference of Black Mayors, and as past chair of the EPA Local Government Advisory Committee. She enjoys reading, and is an avid athlete that loves triathlons. She is a member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc., and an active member of New Living Way Christian Fellowship church. She is married to Dexter Toney and they have three children.