The Commissioners and Project Staff
Senator Bob Graham was a Co-Chair of the National Commission on the BP Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill and Offshore Drilling. He is the former two–term governor of Florida and served for 18 years in the United States Senate. Senator Graham is recognized for his leadership on issues ranging from healthcare and environmental preservation to his ten years of service on the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence — including eighteen months as chairman in 2001–2002. After retiring from public life in January 2005, Senator Graham served for a year as a senior fellow at the Harvard Kennedy School of Government. From May 2008 to February 2010, he served as Chairman of the Commission on the Prevention of Weapons of Mass Destruction Proliferation and Terrorism whose mandate was to build on the work of the 9/11 Commission.
William K. Reilly was a Co-Chair of National Commission on the BP Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill and Offshore Drilling. He is a Founding Partner of Aqua International Partners, LP, a private equity fund dedicated to investing in companies engaged in water and renewable energy, and a Senior Advisor to TPG Capital, LP, an international investment partnership. Mr. Reilly served as the first Payne Visiting Professor at Stanford University (1993-1994), Administrator of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (1989-1993), president of the World Wildlife Fund (1985-1989), president of The Conservation Foundation (1973-1989), and director of the Rockefeller Task Force on Land Use and Urban Growth from (1972-1973). He also served as the head of the U.S. delegation to the United Nations Earth Summit at Rio in 1992.
Frances G. Beinecke was a Member of the National Commission on the BP Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill and Offshore Drilling. She is currently the President of the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC), a non-profit corporation that works to advance environmental policy in the United States and across the world. Ms. Beinecke has worked at NRDC for 35 years, serving as executive director, associate director and deputy executive director before becoming President in 2006. Ms. Beinecke currently serves on the Board of the World Resources Institute, the Energy Futures Coalition, and Conservation International’s Center for Environmental Leadership in business and is a member of the steering committees of the U.S. Climate Action Partnership.
Donald “Don” Boesch was a Member of the National Commission on the BP Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill and Offshore Drilling. He is the President of the University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science, where he is also a Professor of Marine Science and Vice Chancellor for Environmental Sustainability for the University System of Maryland. Dr. Boesch is a biological oceanographer who has conducted research on coastal ecosystems along the Atlantic Coast, the Gulf of Mexico, Australia and the East China Sea. A native of Louisiana, he has assessed the long-term environmental effects of offshore oil and gas development and multiple environmental problems of the Gulf Coast. A pioneer in the study of the environmental effects of offshore energy development, Dr. Boesch edited the seminal 1987 work, Long-Term Environmental Effects of Offshore Oil and Gas Development.
Terry D. Garcia was a Member of the National Commission on the BP Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill and Offshore Drilling. He is currently Executive Vice President for Mission Programs for the National Geographic Society. He is responsible for the Society’s core mission programs, including programs that support and manage more than 400 scientific field research, conservation and exploration projects annually. From 1994 to 1996, he was General Counsel at NOAA and led the implementation of the Exxon Valdez Oil Spill Restoration Plan for Prince William Sound and the Gulf of Alaska. He is a member of the U.S. National Committee for the Census of Marine Life, the advisory board of the Harte Research Institute of Gulf of Mexico Studies, and is a trustee emeritus of the National Marine Sanctuary Foundation. He also has served on several panels convened by the National Academy of Sciences and the National Academy of Public Administration.
Cherry A. Murray was a Member of the National Commission on the BP Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill and Offshore Drilling. Dr. Murray is the Dean of the Harvard School of Engineering and Applied Sciences and is the John A. and Elizabeth S. Armstrong Professor of Engineering and Applied Sciences and Professor of Physics. Prior to coming to Harvard, Murray spent 27 years at Bell Laboratories, eventually becoming Sr Vice President of Physical and Wireless Research, and then 5 years, first as Deputy Director for Science and Technology and later as Principal Associate Director of Science and Technology at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory. She is a member of the National Academy of Sciences, the National Academy of Engineering and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, served as president of the American Physical Society in 2009 and has served on more than 80 national and international scientific advisory committees, governing boards, and National Research Council panels. She is currently Chair of the Division of Engineering and Physical Science of the National Research Council.
Frances Ulmer was a Member of the National Commission on the BP Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill and Offshore Drilling. She is currently the Chair of the U.S. Arctic Research Commission, having retired in 2011 from her position as Chancellor of the University of Alaska Anchorage (UAA), Alaska’s largest public university. Ms. Ulmer is serving as UAA’s Resident Arctic Scholar and is a board member of the Nature Conservancy and the National Parks Conservation Association. As a state legislator, Ms. Ulmer served as a member on the Special Committee on the Exxon Valdez Oil Spill Claims Settlement. She also served as Alaska’s Lieutenant Governor for 8 years, and as minority leader in the Alaska House of Representatives and the mayor of Juneau.
Edwin H. “Toby” Clark, who is the project director, was the Director of Operations for the National Commission on the BP Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill and Offshore Drilling. Relevant previous experience includes being the Secretary of Environment and Natural Resources for the state of Delaware, an Associate Assistant Administrator and the Executive Assistant to the Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency, and a Vice President of the Conservation Foundation where, among other projects, he was responsible for preparing reports on the state of the environment and co-directed the National Wetlands Policy Forum chaired by Governor Tom Kean. Dr. Clark was also President of Clean Sites, a non-profit organization that focused on improving the restoration of hazardous waste sites, and has been a member of over a dozen Nation Research Council Committees and Boards.
Michelle Farmer was the Office Manager/Executive Legal Assistant for the National Commission on the BP Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill and Offshore Drilling. She currently serves as Office Manager and Executive Assistant for the University of Chicago’s Office of Federal Relations in Washington, DC. She also serves as intern coordinator and support staff to the Office of Alumni Relations and Development. She previously worked for the law firm of WilmerHale in Washington, DC as a Practice Management Coordinator for the Litigation Department as well as the Lead Legal Assistant at the US Attorney’s Office for the District of Maryland.