Scott Fulton, President of the Environmental Law Institute, is pleased to announce the election of Benjamin F. Wilson to serve as Chair of ELI’s Board of Directors. Commenting on Mr. Wilson’s election, Mr. Fulton said: “Ben’s stellar reputation as a thought leader in many diverse aspects of environmental law and his extraordinary ability to provide strategic direction will serve ELI well as it embarks on the implementation of its vision and plan for promoting effective environmental governance and rule of law both here and abroad."
Mr. Wilson is Chairman of Beveridge & Diamond, P.C., the largest and oldest environmental specialty law firm in the United States. His practice encompasses a wide range of commercial and environmental litigation in both state and federal courts. He has been lead counsel in several complex litigation matters for major corporations and developers, and has represented cities and local government agencies on Clean Water Act enforcement, wetlands development, and Superfund. A recognized leader on diversity and inclusion in the legal profession, Ben also offers deep experience with environmental justice representations.
As Board Chair, Ben will be a driving force behind ELI’s goal to bridge differences across economic interest and policy divides and find meaningful solutions that provide for the evolution and leverage of environmental law. To wit, Ben commented in a 2008 feature article in The Environmental Forum, “the practice of environmental law is more than a technical specialty, but indeed an opportunity to have a beneficial impact on people and their communities. . . . Businesses and government often want to do the right thing, but the world is a complicated place. They need expertise in order to navigate between the imperative to compete and the desire to function as good citizens.” In the end, he said, “the environment must be protected.”
Commenting on his election, Mr. Wilson said: “I am humbly grateful for the Board’s vote of confidence in me to serve as its Chair. ELI has a long tradition of not only enhancing the environmental bar but also our environment and the role of law in managing it. We at Beveridge & Diamond are proud of our affiliation with ELI, and I look forward to leading the Board in service to ELI and its members.”
In 2016, Mr. Wilson received the Thurgood Marshall College Fund’s Legacy Award. Savoy named him to its list of the Most Influential Black Corporate Directors and Most Influential Black Lawyers. He is a past recipient of the Spirit of Excellence Award from the American Bar Association (ABA) Commission on Racial and Ethnic Diversity, and the ABA Section of Environment, Energy, and Resources Dedication to Diversity and Justice Award. He also founded the Diverse Partners Network and the African American General Counsel and Managing Partners Network. .
A native of Jackson, Mississippi, Ben graduated from Dartmouth College with an A.B. degree in History and received his J.D. from Harvard Law School. He was elected in 2014 to the D.C. Bar Board of Governors and serves as an Adjunct Professor in Environmental Law and Environmental Justice at the Howard University Law School. He is a member of the Board of Trustees of Dartmouth College and the Board of Directors of The Northwestern Mutual Life Insurance Company.