WASHINGTON (October 17, 2016) – Dimitri Karakitsos, senior counsel for the U.S. Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works, has joined Holland & Knight as a partner in the firm’s Public Policy & Regulation Practice Group in Washington, D.C. As the senior Republican staffer on the committee, Mr. Karakitsos was the principal Senate drafter and negotiator of the Frank R. Lautenberg Chemical Safety for the 21st Century Act, a bipartisan law to reform the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) and the first major environmental legislation signed into law since 1990.
Mr. Karakitsos worked closely on TSCA modernization with Ben Dunham, who joined Holland & Knight in May and served for nearly five years as a senior advisor to the late U.S. Sen. Frank Lautenberg of New Jersey, after whom the law is named. Mr. Dunham and Mr. Karakitsos convened a series of industry-NGO roundtables in 2011 and were the staff authors of the first bipartisan TSCA reform proposal, which was released shortly before Sen. Lautenberg’s death in 2013 and served as the basis for the bill that became law earlier this year.
"I want to extend my sincerest congratulations to Dimitri Karakitsos, who has been a beloved member of the EPW Committee for the last eight years. I know that he will provide Holland & Knight and his clients the same thoughtful work he has always provided me on a variety of environmental, energy and regulatory issues," said U.S. Sen. James M. Inhofe, chairman of the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works. "Without Dimitri’s passion and knowledge, the recent reform to the Toxic Substances Control Act – the first major environmental law reauthorization in over 20 years – would not have been a possibility. Dimitri’s judgment and counsel have played an invaluable role in all that the committee has accomplished, and he will be greatly missed."
As senior counsel for the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works, Mr. Karakitsos was responsible for developing policy and strategy related to the energy sector, including oil and gas, renewable energy, coal and chemicals. In addition to the new TSCA, he participated in the development and passage of a major infrastructure law, the Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century Act, serving as lead Senate negotiator with regard to environmental streamlining. He also worked on legislation related to the energy industry, including hydraulic fracturing, and was a lead negotiator of the Chemical Safety and Drinking Water Protection Act.
Mr. Karakitsos joined the staff of the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works in 2009, rising through the ranks to became counsel in 2011 and senior counsel in 2013.
"Companies that manufacture chemicals or use chemicals to make finished products now face a new regulatory regime and will need to develop strategies for dealing with new risks as a result. No one is in a better position to advise them than Dimitri," said Rich Gold, the leader of Holland & Knight’s Public Policy & Regulation Practice Group. "As the senior Senate Republican staffer on TSCA since 2010, he is well known by executives, government affairs representatives and legal teams from every industry affected by the law and has earned their respect and trust."
"I look forward to using my unique knowledge of TSCA and diverse experience on the Hill to help Holland & Knight’s clients navigate the new law, as well as the ever-changing regulatory environment in the energy and manufacturing sectors and beyond," said Mr. Karakitsos. "I am thrilled to be joining one of the best public policy teams in Washington and working with a key Democratic counterpart in TSCA reform to position the firm as a leader in this emerging market for legal services."
Mr. Karakitsos received a J.D. degree from the University of Miami School of Law and a B.B.A. degree from Western Michigan University.
About the Public Policy & Regulation Practice Group: Holland & Knight's Public Policy & Regulation Practice Group includes more than 100 lawyers and other professionals engaged in federal, state and local government affairs and regulatory counseling and related disciplines. With 13 teams including Government Representation, Environment, Telecommunications, Healthcare & Life Sciences, Transportation, Federal Practice & Appropriations, Government Markets and State and Local Procurement, State Capitals and High-Stakes Communications, our attorneys and professionals manage complex client problems and opportunities involving local, state and federal government regulatory, transactional and legislative matters.
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