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Deborah K. Tellier

Deborah K. Tellier
Retired Partner, Farella Braun + Martel LLP, San Francisco, CA

Deborah K. Tellier has practiced environmental and nonprofit law for over 25 years.  In private practice at Farella, Braun + Martel, LLP, in San Francisco, she counseled business and industry clients on environmental matters with an emphasis on hazardous waste, hazardous substances, and water quality laws. She conducted environmental due diligence investigations in connection with the acquisition, leasing and financing of real property, including Brownfield redevelopments. Deborah also counseled domestic and international clients in establishing and monitoring environmental management systems, conducting audits and developing sustainability programs.

Ms. Tellier took a hiatus from private practice from 2000 – 2008 to join the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation where she served as the Foundation’s first Director of Grants Management.  In that role, she was responsible for overseeing the development and awarding of $250M grants annually.  She then moved into the Legal Department and worked as Associate General Counsel where she was primarily responsible for the Foundation’s day-to-day legal matters, compliance function, and Board governance. 

She serves on several nonprofit boards, including the Environmental Law Institute, California Alliance with Family Farmers, and a non-profit she started, Maya Center for Rural Education and Well-Being or (“MayaCREW”), whose mission is to provide educational opportunities to young girls in rural Guatemala.  She is currently serving as a Council member for the ABA Section on Environment, Energy and Resources.

Ms. Tellier frequently lectures, teaches and writes on a variety of environmental law and philanthropic topics at institutions of higher learning and industry conferences, and is listed in The Best Lawyers in America in the area of Environmental Law.

She received her J.D. from the University of Oregon, School of Law where she was Editor-in-Chief of the Oregon Law Review and served as a member the Moot Court Board. She earned her B.S. in Environmental Policy Analysis and Planning from the University of California at Davis.