Steve Owens is an attorney with Squire Patton Boggs (US) LLP in Phoenix, Arizona, where he focuses on environmental, safety and health issues. From 2009-2011, Steve served as the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) Assistant Administrator for the Office of Chemical Safety and Pollution Prevention (OCSPP). As the Assistant Administrator for OCSPP, Steve was responsible for managing EPA’s regulatory programs on chemicals and pesticides under the Toxic Substances Control Act , the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide and Rodenticide Act, and other statutes.
Prior to joining EPA, Owens was Director of the Arizona Department of Environmental Quality from 2003-2009, where he made addressing climate change, protecting children’s environmental health, and working closely with Arizona’s tribal nations top priorities for the department.
Owens graduated with honors from Brown University in 1978 and received his law degree in 1981 from Vanderbilt Law School.
From 1982-1984, Owens served as Counsel to the Subcommittee on Investigations and Oversight of the U.S. House Committee on Science and Technology.
During 1985-1988, Owens was Chief Counsel and later state director for then-U.S. Senator Al Gore. From 1999-2002 Owens served as a member of the Joint Public Advisory Committee of the North American Commission on Environmental Cooperation.
Steve is a former member of EPA’s Clean Air Act Advisory Committee and EPA’s Children’s Health Protection Advisory Committee, as well as a former president of the Environmental Council of the States (ECOS), the national association of state environmental agency directors.
After 14 years working in private practice at Phoenix-based law firm Brown & Bain, Owens re-entered the realm of public service in 2003 as director of the Arizona Department of Environmental Quality. Appointed by then-Gov. Janet Napolitano (D).
It was during his first semester at Vanderbilt in fall 1978 that Owens met Al Gore, who was then a first-term House member. The two became fast friends, and, in addition to hours spent playing basketball, drinking beer and eating pizza.
Birthday: Aug. 19, 1955
Hometown: Memphis, Tenn.