Experts Guide

Welcome to ELI’s directory of environmental law and policy experts. We are committed to delivering timely, insightful, impartial analysis to opinion makers, including government officials, environmental and business leaders, and journalists. The Institute is fortunate to have staff members with deep expertise in many fields of environmental law and governance both in the United States and internationally. Their general areas of expertise are noted below. Please click on their name or photo for more information about their work and their areas of expertise.
Jordan Diamond headshot
President, Environmental Law Institute
  • Ocean & Coastal Law: ocean and coastal ecosystem-based management; marine spatial planning; sustainable management of offshore energy; fisheries management; public participation in ocean and coastal resource decisionmaking
  • Climate & Energy Law: coastal adaptation and resilience; federal energy subsidies
  • International Law: Law of the Sea; regional ocean governance; environmental protection during armed conflict; transboundary environmental protection
  • Participatory Governance: regional ocean governance; public participation in ocean and coastal resource decisionmaking
Jay Austin
Senior Attorney; Editor-in-Chief, Environmental Law Reporter®
  • Coastal and Ocean Law: coastal zone management, National Ocean Policy, Oil Pollution Act and Gulf of Mexico restoration
  • Environmental Impact Assessment: environmental impact assessment (EIA)—National Environmental Policy Act and issues related to EIA at the federal and state levels
  • Judiciary: environmental law and the judiciary—U.S. Supreme Court and other federal court cases and recent decisions and trends in judicial decisionmaking
  • Law: constitutional environmental law—constitutional law topics that affect environmental law, including the Commerce Clause, “takings” and property rights, “standing” to bring environmental lawsuits, and Tenth and Eleventh Amendments
  • Water: water law—Clean Water Act, wetlands protection, and western water issues
Tobie Bernstein
Senior Attorney; Director, Indoor Environments and Green Buildings Program
  • Environmental Health: indoor environmental quality—federal, state and local government policies and programs
  • Green Buildings: green buildings—federal, state and local government policies and program
Linda Breggin
Senior Attorney; Director of the Center for State, Tribal, and Local Environmental Programs
  • Chemicals: Toxic Substance Control Act reform; nanotechnology governance
  • Enforcement: environmental enforcement under state and federal laws
  • Industrial Agriculture: water and air pollution; climate; food waste
  • Toxic Waste: Superfund law; brownfields cleanup and redevelopment; toxics release inventory; environmental justice
  • Water: point source and nonpoint source pollution
Carl Bruch
Senior Attorney; Director, International Programs
  • Armed Conflict and the Environment: armed conflict and the environment—international conflicts, internal conflicts, and post-conflict
  • Climate Change: policy—laws and institutions for adaptation
  • International: good governance—transparency, public participation, and accountability; international environmental law and institutions—compliance, development, implementation, and enforcement
  • Law: compliance and enforcement
  • Water: oceans and water quality and rights
Scott Fulton, President
President Emeritus and International Envoy
  • Air: Clean Air Act
  • Pollution: CERCLA; Superfund; Hazardous waste; Environmental justice
  • Climate Change
  • International: China;  International law
  • Chemicals: Pesticides; Toxic Substances/TSCA
  • Water: Clean Water Act
Rebecca L. Kihslinger
Senior Science and Policy Analyst; Director, Wetlands Program
  • Biodiversity: conservation planning—approaches for integrating biodiversity protection principles into land use planning, policies, and regulations
  • Water: wetlands—compensatory mitigation; federal, state, and local policy
  • Natural Hazards: identifying opportunities to improve community resilience through inter-agency collaboration
James M. McElfish, Jr.
Senior Attorney; Director, Sustainable Use of Land Program
  • Land Use—state laws and policies, federal influences, judicial decisions, development and infrastructure policies
  • Biodiversity: biological diversity—state strategies and local ordinances and policies
  • Alternative Energy: land use—siting of wind energy on land and water, coastal environment
  • Shale Gas Development:state laws—siting, water use, regulation
  • Law: National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA)—implementation, litigation, and public participation; state environmental law—state stringency and comparative programs
  • Water: Laws and policies in the Chesapeake Bay region states; nonpoint source (runoff) water pollution—federal, state, and local control strategies
John Pendergrass
Vice President, Programs & Publications
  • Climate Change: UNFCCC, energy subsidies
  • International: governance, enforcement, sustainable development, natural resource management
  • Judiciary: judicial education
  • Law: Superfund enforcement
  • Pollution: Superfund, brownfields cleanup and redevelopment, hazardous substances, nanotechnology
  • Water: national pollutant discharge elimination system permit system and state programs
Xiao Recio-Blanco
Senior Attorney; Director, Ocean Program
  • Energy: Ocean renewable energy
  • International: Design and enforcement of marine protected areas, deep seabed mining, fisheries management, maritime boundaries, transboundary management of ocean resources, European Union fisheries policy
  • Water: Area-based ocean management, marine spatial planning
  • Wildlife: International fisheries management, small-scale fisheries management
Adam Schempp
Senior Attorney; Director, Western Water Program
  • Law: state water allocation laws; Clean Water Act; Coastal Zone Management Act
  • Oceans: state coastal zone management programs
  • Water: instream flows, water conservation, water rights transactions, water quality
Sandra Nichols Thiam
Associate Vice President, Research & Policy; Director, Judicial Education Program
  • Community Resource Rights: governance for realizing benefit-sharing and transparency, equitable, and participatory management; community responses to pollution
  • Post-Conflict Natural Resources Governance: strengthening peacebuilding through environmental and natural resources legal development and implementation
  • Stakeholder Engagement and Capacity-Building: development, presentation, institutionalization of judicial education programs in developing countries; designing and presenting training programs for communities and government officials
  • State Environmental Programs: policies and legal tools for improved implementation of State Brownfields, Underground Storage Tank, TMDL, Wetlands, and Climate programs; facilitating improved collaboration between stakeholders and each level of governance
Jessica J. Troell
Senior Attorney; Director, International Water Program; Director, Africa Program
  • International: public participation, stakeholder engagement; accountability; transparency; transboundary impact assessment; natural resource co-management institutions
  • Water: water tenure; community-based land and resource tenure; international and comparative freshwater law and policy; transboundary water management; water and livelihoods; community based water resource management; water quality management; water management institutions; climate adaptation in the water sector; freshwater fisheries management