Governor Cooper Announces Dionne Delli-Gatti to Serve as North Carolina Clean Energy Director Chief Deputy Secretary John Nicholson will serve as Interim Secretary of DEQ


Governor Roy Cooper announced today that Dionne Delli-Gatti will serve as North Carolina Clean Energy Director. From this position, Delli-Gatti will work on administrative efforts to promote clean energy in North Carolina including negotiating energy legislation, advancing regulatory efforts, implementing Executive Order 80 and more.

“Dionne Delli-Gatti has the experience and qualifications to serve as Secretary of DEQ, and the legislature’s baseless political criticism of her credentials is but a smokescreen to thwart North Carolina’s transition to clean energy that she has the knowledge to help put in place. I am pleased that Dionne will continue to serve our state in the role of North Carolina Clean Energy Director as we transition to renewable energy,” said Gov. Cooper.

Before her time at DEQ, Delli-Gatti most recently served at the Environmental Defense Fund as the Director of Southeast Climate and Energy following six years at the Atlanta EPA Regional office as Congressional and Governmental Liaison. Her environmental experience includes government service at the Ohio EPA and the City of Dallas, as well as an Environmental Specialist at Turner Collie & Braden, Inc. An Air Force veteran, Delli-Gatti holds a B.A. from Wright State in Environmental Geology and a Master of Science from the University of North Texas in Environmental Science.

Chief Deputy Secretary John Nicholson will serve as the Interim Secretary of the Department of Environmental Quality. Nicholson has served at DEQ since 2017. He is a retired Colonel in the U.S. Marine Corps where he served on active duty for 28 years. Nicholson earned a master’s degree in national security and strategic studies from the U.S. Naval War College, a master’s degree in military studies from the U.S. Marine Corps Command and Staff College and a bachelor’s degree in political science from San Diego State University.



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