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Environmental Policy Innovation Center’s Jake Li Tapped for EPA Leadership Role

Nationally-recognized endangered species policy expert, Ya Wei (Jake) Li, who has served as the Environmental Policy Innovation Center’s (EPIC) Director of Biodiversity since 2017 and helped found the organization, has joined the US Environmental Protection Agency as a Deputy Assistant Administrator in the Office of Chemical Safety and Pollution Prevention.

While at EPIC, Li was a national leader on endangered species law, including the intersection with chemicals regulation, as he developed innovative strategies to conserve imperiled species.

“Jake Li is truly one of a kind,” said EPIC Executive Director, Dr. Timothy Male. “He has a set of skills that too rarely comes together in a leader in Washington DC - exceptional substantive expertise, creativity, tolerance of the risks associated with innovation and an ability to see other people’s point of view. This makes him extremely good at finding ways to move forward on issues that other people see as stuck.”

“My time at EPIC has allowed us to push the envelope of endangered species policy and find conservation partners in unexpected places,” said Li. “I will continue these themes of innovation and collaboration in my next role serving the American public at EPA.”

EPIC is a nonprofit organization whose mission is to build policies that deliver spectacular improvements in the speed and scale of conservation and environmental progress.

The Sand County Foundation serves as EPIC’s fiscal sponsor and is a national non-profit working with farmers, ranchers, foresters and other private landowners to improve soil health, water quality and wildlife habitat.

Ya Wei (Jake) Li