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Administrator Lisa P. Jackson, Introduction of First Lady Michelle Obama, As Prepared

02/26/2009
As prepared for delivery.

Thank you to those joining us on stage today.

And thank you all for joining me as we welcome an extraordinarily special guest to the agency.

A product of Chicago public schools, Michelle Obama studied sociology and African-American studies at Princeton. After graduating from Harvard Law School in 1988, she joined the Chicago law firm Sidley & Austin, where she later met the man who would become her husband and our 44th president.

In 1996, Mrs. Obama joined the University of Chicago with a vision of bringing campus and community together. As associate dean of student services, she developed the university's first community service program, and volunteerism skyrocketed under her leadership as vice president of community and external affairs for the University of Chicago Medical Center.

As First Lady, Michelle Obama continues to work on the issues close to her heart — supporting military families, helping working women balance career and family, and encouraging national service.

But today’s guest is not only a forceful and articulate advocate for working families, military families and public servants all across this country – she’s also an icon of grace, class and style.

Madam First Lady, you should know that when we announced your visit today – my office was overwhelmed by droves of EPA staffers who all emailed the same question … ‘can I bring a camera?’

Madam First Lady, the people in this room today – and those joining us on the internet – are the hardest working men and women you’ll find anywhere in the world. It’s true. They come to work every single day with one fundamental goal: to protect the health and environment of every single American. … Americans in our nation’s heartland. Americans in our urban cities. Americans in our suburbs and exurbs. But, most importantly … Americans like your girls Sasha and Malia, right here in DC.

The work we do is for them – and their generation – and on behalf of this incredible workforce … we are honored that you are here with us today.

You are an inspiration to so many, not just because of who you are and what you’ve done – but because of what you stand for.

You stand for a government that aggressively protects our nation’s most vulnerable citizens. And we support you.

You stand for policies and regulations that are rooted in facts, the law, and fundamental decency. And we’re behind you.

You stand for a government that won’t allow our children to breathe noxious fumes and drink tainted water. And, Madam First Lady, the men and women of the Environmental Protection Agency stand alongside you.

Thank you for joining us today. Not only for bringing attention to the critical work we do, but for also helping us tell the world that we are the Obama EPA. And the Obama EPA is on the job.

And so, Ladies and Gentlemen, let’s give a rousing EPA welcome to the First Lady of the United States, Michelle Obama.