John NicholsonChief Deputy Secretary

John Nicholson was named chief deputy secretary for the N.C. Department of Environmental Quality in February 2017.

Nicholson will work closely with Secretary Regan, overseeing various managerial duties including special projects related to the military.

Nicholson is a retired Colonel in the U.S. Marine Corps where he served for 28 years. He is a skilled executive with international leadership experience in solving critical and complex challenges.

He was also the military affairs advisor to two North Carolina governors. Nicholson has experience in advanced strategic planning, policy development and work force analysis while leading high performance teams during his military service. He has also advanced programs in energy efficiency and environmental conservation while serving his country. 

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.