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Meridian Institute

Meridian Board Chair Emeritus Receives Presidential Medal of Freedom

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

On November 24, 2015, Meridian Board Chair Emeritus and current member of the Board, William D. Ruckelshaus, received the Presidential Medal of Freedom at the White House.
Bill Ruckelshaus’s remarkable career in public service includes being the first appointed Administrator for the EPA; serving as Acting Director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI); and then serving as Deputy Attorney General at the U.S. Department of Justice.
The nation's highest civilian honor was awarded to Bill for his work to protect public health and combat global challenges like climate change, the White House said. Throughout his two-tenure service at the EPA, Bill laid the EPA’s foundation by selecting its leadership, defining its mission, deciding priorities, and determining organizational structure. His early achievements at EPA include a nationwide ban on the pesticide DDT and an agreement with the automobile industry to require catalytic converters, which significantly reduced automobile pollution. Bill is also being commended for choosing to resign as the Justice Department's deputy attorney general during the Watergate crisis, rather than obeying an order from Nixon to fire the Watergate special prosecutor.
Bill Ruckelshaus has provided invaluable guidance for Meridian since before its inception, and continues to help mold its mission. Partners and staff of Meridian Institute heartily congratulate Bill on this well-deserved honor.