Debbie Raphael

Director, San Francisco Department of Environment

A key player in San Francisco efforts to reduce the use of hazardous chemicals, Debbie Raphael was appointed director of the Department of Toxic Substances Control in May 2011 amid a controversial process to develop statewide regulations. She resigned her position in May 2014 to become director of the San Francisco Department of Environment. Raphael received a bachelor of arts degree in biology/plant ecology from the University of California, Berkeley, in 1981 and a master’s degree in physiological plant ecology at UCLA in 1985. After college, she worked at the Exploratorium museum in San Francisco from 1987–1992, where she was an exhibit designer in life sciences. She left the museum to join the city of Santa Monica as an environmental program manager from 1993–1999.  Raphael moved back to the Bay Area in 1999 to become program manager for the City and County of San Francisco’s Toxics Reduction and Green Building programs, and remained there until her appointment by Governor Jerry Brown as DTSC director.