The George Washington University
Engineering Management & Systems Engineering Department (EMSE)
Environmental & Energy Management Program (E&EM)
Fall 2000 (Volume 1, Number 3)

E&EM Graduate Scores Major Victory with Everglades Restoration Reauthorization Bill
 
Catharine S. Cyr, a 1996 graduate of GW’s Environmental and Energy Management Program and a key player in environmental programs in the U.S. Senate, recently scored big time with the recent authorization of the $11 billion Everglades restoration bill by the U.S. Congress.  In her position as Senior Policy Advisor to Senator Bob Graham (D-FL), Catharine has worked over the past two years to bring to fruition what literally is one of the most important and difficult environmental initiatives anywhere in the world.  The Everglades Restoration Act, which most observers had written off as dead earlier in the summer due to major differences among powerful interest groups, was revived by Catharine’s “never-say-die” efforts.  Her efforts paid off on November 2000, when the Florida Everglades Restoration bill was enacted into law as the principal component of the Water Resources Development Act of 2000.

During her part-time graduate studies in the Environmental and Energy Management Program in the mid-1990’s, Catharine worked as a Management Development Intern for the Naval Air Systems Command.  Her interests, however, were with environmental protection, not weapons systems acquisition, and her graduate studies were directed at enabling her to achieve a career change into environmental management.
 
 
In just a few short years, Catharine has become a veteran at Congressional testimony and briefings

 

Everglades restoration legislative architect Catharine Cyr pauses for  photo in the main Capitol Building

Her vision and hard work paid off as she neared completion of her E&EM MEM degree when, in 1995, she landed a job as an Environmental Specialist in the Office of the Chief of Naval Operations.  In the CNO’s office, Catharine worked from 1995 to 1997 on programs aimed at the elimination of ozone-depleting substances Navy-wide.  She shepherded the U.S. Navy’s involvement in the Kyoto Protocol during that time, spreading the word by speaking at more than 25 conferences per year.

From 1997 to 1998, Catharine served as the President of a company created to provide natural science and environmental education programs to young students.  Her company was successful in developing multiple educational packages on climate change and ozone depletion that affected the early education of many students throughout the Washington, D.C. metropolitan area.

In 1998, Catharine joined Senator Bob Graham as his Senior Policy Advisor, where she worked with top policy officials in the Departments of Energy, Interior, and Agriculture, and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.  She negotiated the terms of a variety of environmental legislation for water resource and other environmental projects, with the Everglades restoration bill serving as the keystone of her career to date.  With  a widespread and growing reputation for high intelligence, boundless energy, creative ideas, and unparalleled abilities in consensus building, we can expect to see Catharine at the highest levels of government in the not-too-distant future.


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Jonathan P. Deason, Ph.D., Lead Professor