From the Oval Office to the Senate Cloakroom, Mandy has been at the center of the most consequential energy and environmental decisions of the last decade. She is a veteran Republican climate and energy strategist, communicator, and environmental attorney who has a well-earned reputation for delivering results.
Most recently, Mandy served as Chief of Staff of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). Under the leadership of Administrator Andrew Wheeler, Mandy set and implemented environmental policy priorities for the Trump-Pence Administration. She created and managed teams of political and career employees to shepherd key regulatory actions through the rule-making process. Mandy also served as a primary liaison with the White House and other administrative agencies.
Before returning to EPA as Chief of Staff, Mandy was the Principal Deputy Assistant Administrator for the Office of Air and Radiation. In this role, she spearheaded many of the administration's greatest energy and environmental policy achievements. Mandy was the chief architect of the Paris Accord withdrawal and the repeal of the Clean Power Plan – a costly regulation that undercut state’s authority and would have substantially increased electricity prices.
Prior to her latest EPA post, she founded and ran the Energy 45 Fund, a Jackson, Mississippi-based non-profit dedicated to informing the public about the energy, environmental and economic gains made under the Trump-Pence Administration. Mandy also worked as a Senior Fellow for the Texas Public Policy Foundation’s Life: Powered project and a Visiting Fellow for the Independent Women’s Forum.
Previously, Mandy served in a number of roles in the U.S. Congress, including as Majority Counsel for the U.S. Senate Environment and Public Works Committee for Chairmen Inhofe (R-OK) and Barasso (R-WY), respectively. She also worked closely with Sen. Capito (R-WV) in her former role as Subcommittee Chair for Clean Air and Nuclear Safety. In addition, Mandy was senior counsel in the U.S. House of Representatives for Rep. Bob Latta (R-OH) where she crafted his energy and environment goals with the U.S. Committee on Energy and Commerce.
Mandy is a frequent guest on television and a prolific print media opinion commentator. She guest radio host for Super Talk Mississippi, regularly appears on Fox News and Fox Business, writes opinion pieces for the Daily Caller, Y’all Politics, and USA Today, and is regularly quoted in the New York Times, Washington Post and E&E News.
Mandy earned a J.D. from the University of Mississippi School of Law and a B.A. from Mississippi College. She's a sixth-generation Mississippian who along with her husband and two children call Oxford, Mississippi, home.
Surya is a results-driven strategist with extensive public and private sector experience designing, developing, and directing complex tax, trade, and energy security policy initiatives on behalf of clients.
Prior to rejoining Section VII Strategies, Surya held senior political positions at the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) and the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS). At DOE, Surya was the Senior Counsel in the Office of International Affairs where he was tasked with developing trade promotion policies and financing vehicles to expand domestic energy exports.
Earlier in the Administration, Surya managed fifteen senior policy professionals as the head of strategy and policy at the U.S. Customs and Boarder Protection (CBP), the largest civilian led law enforcement agency in the United States and a component of DHS. While at CBP, he developed immigration pathways and trade policies to adapt to the COVID-19 pandemic and represented the agency on the DHS China Working Group addressing malign activity in trade, forced labor, and intellectual property.
On Capitol Hill, Surya served as Chief of Staff and General Counsel for Congressman James B. Renacci (R-OH). He was the Congressman’s chief policy advisor and managed the D.C. and District offices. Surya was responsible for shaping the overall strategic vision of the Congressman’s Ways and Means Committee portfolio, specifically in tax, trade, and energy. While on the Hill, Surya lead a team of tax lawyers in developing a pro-growth consumption-based tax reform plan, an international tax reform discussion draft, and legislation - signed into law - overhauling the partnership audit regime. In addition, he oversaw all legislative and communication initiatives as well as a robust fundraising operation.
Before working on Capitol Hill, Surya was Managing Director - Taxes at Airlines for America. In this role, Surya handled federal, state, local and international tax issues affecting the major domestic airlines, working closely with legislative and administrative bodies to manage the tax burden. In addition, Surya represented the airline industry on the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Tax Committee and the California Taxpayers Association Board of Directors. Surya previously served as Counsel - Tax & Trade in the Tax and Accounting Policy Department of the American Petroleum Institute (API). In that capacity, Surya drafted comments on proposed regulations, monitored legislation, and supported API's advocacy efforts. Surya also managed the API policy subcommittees on accounting, international trade compliance, and excise tax.
Prior to joining API, Surya was Assistant Counsel at the Defense Logistics Agency Energy (DLA Energy), the Department of Defense's purchasing agency for bulk petroleum products, and other energy commodities. At DLA Energy, Surya advised petroleum procuring contracting officers and program directors in matters pertaining to acquisitions, contract administration, as well as international and domestic fuel taxes.
Surya has published extensively on energy, tax, international relations and natural security issues in some of the largest newspapers and most respected law journals, including: The Hill, the Washington Examiner, the Daily Caller, Morning Consult, the Journal of Space Law, the Public Contract Law Journal, the Federal Circuit Bar Journal, Air & Space Law, the George Washington Journal of Energy and Environmental Law and the Washington and Lee Journal of Energy, Climate, and the Environment. He has lectured and testified on energy and tax policy issues at a host of conferences, state legislative hearings and symposiums sponsored by industry, government, and law schools.
Surya holds a J.D. cum laude from the University of Mississippi School of Law. Prior to law school, he graduated from the University of Denver with a Masters in Natural Resource and Energy Policy and from the University of Colorado with a B.A. in Political Science. He lives with his wife and two children in Oxford, Mississippi.