Cynthia R. Harris
Cynthia R. Harris was the director of Tribal Programs and the deputy director of the Center for State, Tribal, and Local Environmental Programs at the Environmental Law Institute (ELI), where she worked from 2016 to 2023. Her projects at ELI focused on Tribal and Indigenous issues, climate change adaptation and mitigation, water quality and conservation, product life-cycle management, green infrastructure, and forestry management and conservation. Ms. Harris was Co-Principal Investigator on a multi-year project analyzing Tribal consultation in the state of California under Assembly Bill 52 and Senate Bill 18 through a health/wellness and Environmental Justice lens. She also coordinated ELI’s project team administering the Local Government Environmental Assistance Network (LGEAN) a U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Compliance Assistance Center and was the managing editor of Law of Environmental Protection. Her background prior to ELI includes several years working in San Diego local government, where she advised on water, wastewater, and infrastructure policy, and served as community liaison to some of the city’s most diverse neighborhoods. Ms. Harris is a vice chair and former chair of the American Bar Association’s Native American Resources Committee and serves on the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine’s Steering Committee on the Environmental Health Matters Initiative. She received her law degree from the New York University School of Law.