Katie Thomson became the Department's General Counsel on April 9, 2014. Katie previously served as Acting General Counsel and also as the Chief Counsel of the Federal Aviation Administration. From April 2009 to her appointment at FAA, Katie served as Counselor to Secretary of Transportation Ray LaHood, where she was the Secretary's principal advisor on energy, climate, and environmental matters. Katie led the Transportation Department team that developed historic joint fuel/greenhouse gas emission standards for passenger cars and trucks and heavy duty vehicles. These new standards, taken together, will nearly double the fuel economy of passenger vehicles by 2025 and reduce oil consumption by more than 2.2 million barrels per day.
Katie played a critical role in the development and implementation of President Obama's Blueprint for a Security Energy Future and represented the Department at the 2009 and 2011 United Nations Climate Change Conferences in Copenhagen and Durban.
During her tenure at the Department, Katie spearheaded a number of other priority interagency projects, including: the negotiation and development of a new, long-haul, cross-border trucking program with Mexico; and the implementation of the U.S. strategy for responding to the European Union Emissions Trading Scheme as applied to international aviation.
Katie also served as the Department's Senior Sustainability Officer. In that capacity, she was responsible for overseeing the development and implementation of the Department's strategic energy and sustainability targets.
Prior to joining the Obama Administration, Katie practiced for 19 years at the law firm of Sidley Austin in Washington, D.C. As a partner in the firm's environmental group, she focused on civil and criminal litigation, compliance counseling, and regulatory advocacy — with an emphasis on the Clean Air Act, Clean Water Act, hazardous waste management spill reporting, and hazardous materials transportation enforcement and compliance matters.
A graduate of University of Illinois (summa cum laude) and the University of Pennsylvania Law School, Katie resides in Arlington, Virginia, with her husband Chris Lu. In her free time, she is an avid marathoner and triathlete.