Biography

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For more than two decades, my work as an environmental lawyer, professor, and policy advocate has focused both on advancing understanding of the structure and role of the law with respect to the environment as well as how to ensure that effective implementation will contribute to the achievement of justice and sustainability.  In that regard, my primary areas of research and writing have focused on environmental law in international treaties and in the law and governance systems of other countries as well as its intersection with civil/human rights and social justice considerations.

Currently, I am a member of the Santa Clara Law faculty where I teach torts and various environmental law courses.  Next year, I will be able to spend more time on environmental justice issues with a seminar on that subject in the spring 2017 as well as a related conference that I’ll help organize later that fall.

Immediately prior to joining the Santa Clara Law faculty in 2012, I served in President Obama’s Administration as Deputy General Counsel of the US Environmental Protection Agency.  From 2007 to 2010, I led the establishment of the US-China Partnership for Environmental Law, a US AID and State Department-funded initiative to build China’s institutional capacity in environmental law and governance.   I started my career in environmental law as an attorney in the Environment and Natural Resources Division of the U.S. Department of Justice.

My bachelors degree (in biochemistry) is from Harvard University and my JD degree from the University of California at Berkeley.  In 2009, I was honored by the American Bar Association as a Distinguished Environmental Advocate.  In my spare time, I serve on the Board of Trustees of Earthjustice, the nation’s largest public interest environmental law firm, enjoy discussing books with my daughter Gwen-Zoe, and serve as my dog’s social secretary.

View my faculty biography page and connect with me on LinkedIn.

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