Benita Best-Wong is the top-ranked career official in the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) Office of Water and is responsible for the strategic direction of programs, which provide public health and environmental protections that are foundational to thriving communities. She embodies strong leadership qualities and is no stranger to navigating change. 


She has spearheaded new initiatives—including innovative and impactful new water infrastructure programs—and has been integral to the establishment of EPA’s new Water Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act (WIFIA) program that was initiated by Congress in 2014, saving over $4 billion for local utilities and their customers. 


Benita’s leadership in EPA’s Office of Water has resulted in cleaner and safer water for the Nation, as well as improved, trusting relationships between the Federal government and the public she servesHer actions are always grounded in sound science and data. As a direct result of her demonstrated scientific integrity, she has increased public confidence in the EPA’s actions, while simultaneously navigating multiple levels of government and forging relationships with stakeholders.


She serves as a co-Chair for the Safe Drinking Water Information System (SDWIS) Modernization Board, a joint initiative by EPA, Environmental Counsel of the States (ECOS), and Association of State Drinking Water Administrators (ASDWA). Under her leadership, the Board has been guiding the SDWIS Modernization process, following the principles of the E-Enterprise Digital Strategy, and ensuring integrated participation from both State and EPA drinking water program leaders and enterprise information management leaders. 


As a nominee for the Service to the Citizen Award, Benita has demonstrated leadership and steady guidance in light of—and not despite— the challenging environmental concerns of today.


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Deputy Assistant Administrator,
Environmental Protection Agency