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Joe Biden. Photo: Roberto Schmidt/Getty Images

Michael Regan, the top environmental regulator in North Carolina, has emerged as a leading candidate to head the Environmental Protection Agency, according to people familiar with the matter.

Why it matters: If nominated and confirmed, Regan, the secretary of the North Carolina Department of Environmental Quality, would be the first Black male to head the agency and is yet another example of Biden assembling one of the most diverse Cabinets in U.S. history.

The big picture: Regan could be part of a slate of nominees expected to be announced later this week, including former Michigan Gov. Jennifer Granholm for Energy Department head and Gina McCarthy as domestic climate czar.

  • Regan emerged as the leading candidate after civil rights groups objected to the nomination of Mary Nichols, who led the California Air Resources Board.
  • Regan's interview with Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris went well, according to a person familiar with the matter.
  • A transition official declined to comment.

Our thought bubble via Axios' Ben Geman: Regan brings EPA experience to the job, having served in multiple air quality roles there under Presidents Bill Clinton and George W. Bush.

  • If confirmed, he'll be leading an agency slated to play a key role in Biden's climate change agenda — managing the tricky task of unwinding Trump-era rules and writing new ones to fit an agenda that Biden's campaign said would be more aggressive than Obama-era policies.
  • The North Carolina regulator brings ties to the environmental movement, having served in several senior roles with the Environmental Defense Fund in the 2010s, per his LinkedIn bio.

Go deeper

Mike Allen, author of AM
Jan 21, 2021 - Politics & Policy

Biden-Harris, Day 1: What mattered most

President Joe Biden and first lady Dr. Jill Biden arrive at the North Portico of the White House. Photo: Alex Brandon-Pool/Getty Images

The Axios experts help you sort significance from symbolism. Here are the six Day 1 actions by President Biden that matter most.

Driving the news: Today, on his first full day, Biden translates his promise of a stronger federal response to the pandemic into action — starting with 10 executive orders and other directives, Caitlin Owens writes.

Updated 8 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Arizona GOP's private recount of 2020 election confirms Biden's win

Contractors working on behalf of the GOP examine and recount 2020 ballots at Arizona Veterans Memorial Coliseum in Phoenix in May. Photo: Courtney Pedroza/Getty Images

In an odd coda to the 2020 election, private contractors conducting a GOP-commissioned recount in Arizona confirmed President Biden’s win in Maricopa County.

Why it matters: The unofficial, party-driven recount has been heavily covered on cable news as part of former President Trump's continued effort to sow doubt about the election result.

Del Rio bridge camp empty following Haitian migrant surge

A boy bathes himself in a jug of water inside a migrant camp at the U.S.-Mexico border on Sept. 21 in Del Rio, Texas. Photo: John Moore/Getty Images

The last migrants camping under the Del Rio International Bridge, which connects Texas and Mexico, departed on Friday, Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas announced during a White House press briefing.

Driving the news: Thousands of migrants, mostly from Haiti, had arrived to the makeshift camp after crossing the southern border seeking asylum. Roughly 1,800 migrants will now head to U.S. Customs and Border Protection processing centers.