Thomas Skinner Named LSU General Counsel

01/16/2015  3:50 PM
Thomas SkinnerBATON ROUGE – Attorney Thomas V. Skinner has been named the LSU general counsel. Skinner formerly served as acting Assistant Administrator for Enforcement and Compliance at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, as U.S. EPA Region 5 Administrator, as a senior policy advisor in the Office of Governor of the State of Illinois, and as Director of the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency. Skinner’s hiring was approved at the December Board of Supervisors meeting and was effective Jan. 1.

“We are pleased to welcome Thomas Skinner to LSU’s leadership team,” said LSU President and Chancellor F. King Alexander. “Thomas has a broad range of experience in both the state and federal government arenas, and his background and knowledge fits exactly what we were looking for in our lead general counsel.”

The general counsel is the chief legal adviser to the LSU president and Board of Supervisors. Duties include review of legal contracts and legal matters, and preparing reports and rendering advice and counsel on matters pending before the board, including changes in board by-laws, proposed projects at LSU campuses and pending or active litigation involving the university.

Skinner, who most recently served as a partner at Jones Day, received his Juris Doctorate at Northwestern University School of Law in 1987, where he was a member of the Law Review, and a Bachelor of Arts degree in government from Lawrence University in 1983.

“I am honored to have the opportunity to serve LSU as its general counsel,” Skinner said. “With two daughters in college and one on the way, I am very appreciative of the invaluable role that higher education plays, and I am grateful for the chance to contribute. To be able to do so at LSU, the alma mater of one of my boyhood heroes, Pete Maravich, is a privilege. Geaux Tigers.”

Skinner has extensive public and private sector experience. Prior to Jones Day, Skinner was a partner at Mayer Brown from 2006-2011 and an associate from 1991-1995 and partner from 1995-1999 at Winston & Strawn. His practice focused on litigation, government/regulatory and environmental law; federal and state civil and criminal enforcement matters; regulatory and permitting issues; and counseling, including response to corporate crisis situations.

In 2001, Skinner was appointed by President George W. Bush to the United States Environmental Protection Agency. He served as acting head of the national enforcement and compliance program from April 2004 to September 2005, and served as regional administrator from June 2001 to April 2004 and September 2005 to 2006. In his roles at the EPA, Skinner did extensive work with the U.S. Department of Justice and other federal agencies, U.S. Congress, state and local governments, business and public interest groups, along with public speaking and national, major-market and local media appearances.

As acting assistant administrator for enforcement and compliance at the EPA, he was the head of the national civil and criminal enforcement program, with broad responsibility for ensuring compliance with federal statutes and regulations. He managed more than 1,700 employees and a multi-million dollar budget. As regional administrator at the EPA, he was the chief executive of a six-state Midwest federal region responsible for implementation and enforcement of federal environmental programs, including the Clean Air Act, the Clean Water Act and the Superfund. He served as head of the EPA’s Great Lakes National Program, with responsibility for federal environmental activities affecting the Great Lakes.

From January 1999 to June 2001, Skinner was director of the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency, a position appointed by the governor of Illinois. In this role, he acted as the chief executive of the state environmental agency responsible for implementation and enforcement of state air, water and land environmental programs; managed more than 1,400 employees and a multi-million dollar budget; and was a member of the governor’s cabinet. At this time, he served as chair of the Air Committee and on the Executive Committee of the Environmental Commissioners of the States, the national organization of state environmental commissioners.

Skinner has also worked in the Office of the Governor for the State of Illinois, from 1988-1991; clerked on the United States District Court, Northern District of Illinois, from 1987-1988; and interned at the U.S. Attorney’s Office, Northern District of Illinois, from 1986-1987.



Ernie Ballard
LSU Media Relations