symposium speaker biographies

Vickie Patton General Counsel, Environmental Defense Fund

Vickie Patton serves as Environmental Defense Fund’s General Counsel and manages the organization’s national and regional clean air programs.   For a quarter century, she has worked to protect human health and the environment from air pollution. She has been involved in numerous rulemakings under the Clean Air Act and associated cases including several successful cases before the U.S. Supreme Court, testified before congressional and state legislative committees, and authored a variety of articles on air quality protection and environmental policy.   Prior to joining Environmental Defense Fund, she worked in the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Office of General Counsel in Washington, D.C., where she provided legal counsel on national air quality initiatives.  She has received a number of awards for her work including the Air & Waste Management Association’s Richard Beatty Mellon Environmental Stewardship Award. Vickie serves on the Board of Directors of the Environmental Law Institute and is a member of the American College of Environmental Lawyers.

Vicki Arroyo (L’94), Executive Director of the Georgetown Climate Center

Vicki Arroyo is the Executive Director of the Georgetown Climate Center and Assistant Dean for Centers and Institutes at Georgetown University Law Center where she is also a Professor from Practice. She previously served at the Pew Center on Global Climate Change, most recently as the Pew Center’s Vice President for Domestic Policy and General Counsel. For over a decade, she directed the Pew Center’s policy analysis, science, adaptation, economics, and domestic policy programs. In addition to teaching at Georgetown Law, she has taught courses on environmental policy and climate change at Catholic University, George Mason University’s graduate public policy program, and Tulane Law School. Previously, she practiced environmental law with Kilpatrick Stockton and other private firms and served in two offices at U.S. EPA: the Office of Air and Radiation and the Office of Research and Development where she reviewed development of standards under the Clean Air Act. From 1988 – 1991, she created and directed the Louisiana Department of Environmental Quality’s policy office, and briefly served as Governor Buddy Roemer’s environmental advisor.

Mitchell BernardChief Operating Officer, Natural Resources Defense Council

Mitchell Bernard is Chief Operating Officer of NRDC. He served as NRDC Litigation Director from 2003-15. He was counsel to the successful plaintiffs in the Westway case in New York City, which is described in Fighting Westway by Georgetown Professor William W. Buzbee (Cornell University Press 2014). He has litigated air, water, toxics, and environmental justice cases against Texaco, Duke Power, Mallinckrodt, and many government agencies. For three years, on appointment by District Judge John S. Martin, Jr., he monitored the probation of Con Edison after the company was convicted of environmental crimes. He later served, for two years, as an expert for the U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York. He graduated with honors from Princeton University, where he won the Page Prize for achievements in creative writing. He attended NYU Law School, where he was a Hays Civil Liberties Fellow and won the Poses Prize for law student practice. He served as a law clerk in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit.

Professor William W. Buzbee, Georgetown University Law Center

William W. Buzbee is a professor of law at Georgetown University Law Center. He joined Georgetown from Emory Law School, where he was a professor of law, directed Emory’s Environmental and Natural Resources Law Program, founded and oversaw its Turner Environmental Law Clinic, and co-directed Emory’s Center on Federalism and Intersystemic Governance. He has been a visiting professor of law at Columbia, Cornell and Illinois law schools, as well as a visitor at Georgetown in 2012, and has served as a professor for the Leiden-Amsterdam-Columbia Law School Summer Program in American Law. Professor Buzbee also is a founding Member Scholar of the Center for Progressive Reform, a Washington D.C.-based regulatory think tank. Professor Buzbee was awarded the 2007-2008 Emory Williams Teaching Award for excellence in teaching. He teaches environmental law, administrative law, legislation and regulation, and seminars on environmental, regulatory, and constitutional law subjects. His most recent seminar explores “The Art of Regulatory War.” Professor Buzbee’s scholarship focuses on environmental law, administrative law, regulatory federalism, and other public law topics. His books include the recently published Fighting Westway: Environmental Law, Citizen Activism, and the Regulatory War that Transformed New York City (Cornell University Press 2014).

Professor Emily Hammond, The George Washington University Law School

Emily Hammond is a nationally recognized expert in energy law, environmental law, and administrative law. A former environmental engineer, she brings technical fluency to cutting-edge issues at the intersection of law, science, and policy. Professor Hammond is a leading authority on nuclear energy, electricity markets, regulatory jurisdiction, and the various responses of legal institutions to scientific uncertainty. Her articles have appeared in numerous top-ranked journals, including the Columbia Law Review, the Duke Law Journal, the Michigan Law Review, and the Vanderbilt Law Review. She is a co-author of one of the nation’s leading energy law texts, Energy, Economics and the Environment, and the environmental law text Environmental Protection: Law and Policy, in addition to numerous book chapters and shorter works.

Professor Lisa Heinzerling, Georgetown University Law Center

Lisa Heinzerling is the Justice William J. Brennan, Jr. Professor of Law at the Georgetown University Law Center. She specializes in environmental law, food law, administrative law, and regulatory policy. She has published several books, including a critique of the use of cost-benefit analysis in environmental policy, and many articles and book chapters. Peer environmental law professors have four times voted her work among the top ten articles of the year. Professor Heinzerling has been a visiting professor at Harvard Law School, Vermont Law School, and Yale Law School. From January 2009 to July 2009, Heinzerling served as Senior Climate Policy Counsel to the Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency and then, from July 2009 to December 2010, she served as Associate Administrator of EPA’s Office of Policy. Professor Heinzerling served as lead author of the winning briefs in Massachusetts v. EPA, in which the Supreme Court held that the Clean Air Act gives EPA the authority to regulate greenhouse gases.

Jared ThompsonAttorney, Natural Resources Defense Council

Jared Thompson is an attorney on the Litigation Team in Washington, DC. He graduated from Stanford Law School with a joint degree in environment and resources. Jared spent three years as a legal fellow at NRDC, worked as a litigation associate at a private law firm, and clerked for a federal district court judge in Philadelphia, before rejoining the Litigation Team in 2015. At NRDC, Jared has worked on cases designed to remediate toxic pollution in the Anacostia and Penobscot Rivers, protect sensitive wetlands in Indiana, and safeguard energy efficiency standards and funding.

Michael BurgerExecutive Director, Sabin Center for Climate Change Law; Research Scholar and Lecturer-in-Law, Columbia Law School

Michael Burger’s current research and advocacy focus on domestic and international efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and promote climate change adaptation through pollution control, natural resources management, land use planning and green finance. In his role as Executive Director he has consulted with international organizations, including the United Nations Environment Program, the United Nations Development Program, and the International Red Cross; and has collaborated with local and national environmental groups, government representatives and scientists at the Earth Institute to advance climate action. He serves as lead counsel for an amicus coalition including the U.S. Conference of Mayors, the National League of Cities and cities and counties nationwide in support of the Clean Power Plan, and is the coordinating lead author of the report Legal Pathways to Reducing Greenhouse Gas Emissions under Section 115 of the Clean Air Act. Prior to his arrival at Columbia he was Associate Professor at Roger Williams University School of Law.

Sara Colangelo (L’07), Director of the Georgetown Environmental Law and Policy Program; Adjunct Professor of Law

Sara Colangelo is the Environmental Law & Policy Program Director and an Adjunct Professor of Law. She oversees the Environmental Law J.D. and LL.M. programming for the Law Center. She also teaches two seminars designed for students to develop the skills necessary to advance from an academic to a practice-based approach to environmental law. Previously Professor Colangelo served as a trial attorney for the Environmental Enforcement Section (EES) of the Environment and Natural Resources Division at the Department of Justice for eight years. She joined the Division through the Attorney General’s Honors Program upon graduating law school. At EES, she managed complex civil environmental enforcement cases for pollution control and cleanup of hazardous waste sites to negotiated or litigated resolution. Professor Colangelo received multiple awards from the Environmental Protection Agency and from the Environment Division for her work. In addition, she was nominated for two awards from the Attorney General: The John Marshall Award and The Attorney General’s Award for Outstanding Contributions from a New Employee.