Founding Partner, Beveridge & Diamond law firm; Commissioner, New York Department of Environmental Protection
As a new lawyer keen to work in politics and government, Henry Diamond worked briefly for Robert F. Kennedy at the Justice Department and then was hired by Laurance Rockefeller who came to Washington to chair the Outdoor Recreation Resources Review Commission. Diamond devoted three years to editing the Commission’s 27-volume report and a set of recommendations that led to laws that remain pillars of the nation’s land and water conservation, wilderness, and outdoor recreation programs. His expertise and passion for good land use as essential to community well-being lasted a lifetime and made him a leading advocate for parks and conservation. Another Rockefeller, the Governor of New York, tapped Diamond to head the first state environmental conservation agency combining all the resource management and pollution control programs. He undertook a 350-mile bicycle ride in a successful campaign to sell a billion-dollar bond issue to fund his new programs.
Later, Diamond was a co-founder of a major environmental and land use law firm, now Beveridge and Diamond, where he introduced corporate clients to the new world of federal and state regulation, while continuing to contribute his time to a host of good causes to support environmental conservation and education. As a lifelong Republican, he lamented the “rush to the right” as reducing prospects for a bipartisan effort to solve today’s problems. Diamond received the Environmental Law Institute’s 2015 environmental achievement award recognizing him as an “environmental statesman” who shaped a new field of law. Diamond passed away in 2016, leaving a legacy of a healthier and more beautiful landscape for all Americans to enjoy.