They’re ex-opponents in the Democratic primary, and now incoming Gov. Tom Wolf has tapped Katie McGinty to be his top adviser.
McGinty’s a Philly native through-and-through and the former chief of the state’s Department of Environmental Protection. But she has lots of national connections in the political world, and a hefty resume filled with experience with some of the state and country’s top leaders.
Here are 10 facts to know about her:
- McGinty grew up in Northeast Philly as the ninth of 10 kids, according to a 2013 Associated Press story. She grew up on Summerdale Avenue in a house with three bedrooms and one bathroom, and graduated in 1981 from St. Hubert’s Catholic High School. Her father was a Philly police officer; her mother was a waitress.
- McGinty spent more than a year in India as an energy-research fellow, where she and her husband adopted two infant girls from Mother Teresa’s orphanage. The girls are now 14, and the couple later added a biological daughter, who is now 12.
- After working with Al Gore as his legislative assistant, she got a job on Bill Clinton’s staff as the special assistant for environmental and energy affairs at the age of 29 in 1993. Later, she became secretary of Pennsylvania’s Department of Environmental Protection under Ed Rendell — the first woman to hold this post.
- When McGinty served as the top environmental protection chief in 2007, she came under fire after Republicans found out she’d given grants to group for which her husband consulted — AKA making her man some cash. That kind of stuff doesn’t fly anymore. An Ethics Commission ruled that secretaries shouldn’t have a role in grants that’d make their spouses money.
- By the time she was in her early 30s, McGinty was chair of the White House Council on Environmental Protection. According to the Inquirer, after six years, she’d created a program to revive the Florida Everglades, fought weakened regulations of cutting down trees, and created the Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument in Utah. NBD.
- McGinty was the first in her family to attend college and earned a full-ride to St. Joe’s University where she studied chemistry. She then got a scholarship to Columbia Law School, where she received her J.D. Oh, and she was also valedictorian at her high school.
- Her last achievement as secretary of the DEP under Rendell was helping create a bill that directed $650 million to alternative and renewable energy, and encouraged people and businesses to install solar panels by offering rebates.
- McGinty, who has experience in business and in different countries, said she once flew to Spain to pitch “the biggest wind energy manufacturer in the world” to come to Pennsylvania. The company was about to sign a deal with Texas when McGinty swooped in. It wound up generating 1,000 jobs, McGinty told the Philadelphia Business Journal.
- Anti-fracking activists have some beef with McGinty because she was on a 2011 U.S. energy panel that endorsed fracking and because she opposed a call from the State Democratic Committee in 2012 to halt fracking.
- Lastly, but certainly not least, McGinty became a board member of the Girl Scouts association in Pennsylvania. Girl power!