Environmental Law Institute Welcomes Six New Members to Its Leadership Council

November 2018

(Washington, D.C.): The Environmental Law Institute (ELI) is delighted to announce six new members have joined its Leadership Council: Jeanne Cohn-Connor, William J. Jackson, J. Scott Janoe, Shailesh Sahay, Fred Wagner, and Peter H. Weiner. “We are so fortunate to have these outstanding professionals join the ranks of our Leadership Council,” said ELI Leadership Council President Kathy Robb. “ELI’s vision is a healthy environment, prosperous economies, and vibrant communities founded on the rule of law. As esteemed thought-leaders in the field of environmental law and policy, these newest members will bring valuable guidance and expertise to our organization as we continue our path making law work for people, places, and the planet.”

  • Jeanne Cohn-Connor is a partner with Kirkland & Ellis LLP’s Environmental Transactions Group in Washington, D.C. She has advised on the environmental aspects of massive corporate transactions and some of the most complex environmental bankruptcy matters in the country. Notably, Ms. Cohn-Connor served as lead environmental counsel spearheading the global environmental settlement for Tronox Incorporated in its Chapter 11 proceedings. Her versatile practice includes settlement negotiations, enforcement actions, due diligence and contract negotiations, environmental restructurings, brownfields redevelopment, and regulatory compliance advice. Ms. Cohn-Connor recently served as Vice Chair of the Environmental Transactions and Brownfields Committee of the American Bar Association Section of Natural Resources, Energy, and Environmental Law.
  • William J. Jackson is Co-Chair of Kelley Drye & Warren’s National Environmental Practice Group, is Managing Partner of its Houston office, and is a member of the firm’s Executive Committee. For more than two decades, Mr. Jackson has represented states, port authorities, railroads, and energy-sector clients in noteworthy environmental and natural resource damages matters. Among them, Mr. Jackson was lead counsel for the state of New Jersey in its Passaic River litigation, represented the Louisiana Oil Spill Coordinator’s Office and the Jindal Administration in the Deepwater Horizon disaster, and is currently representing the territory of Guam, the state of New Mexico, and the state of Ohio in significant litigation matters seeking remediation and restoration of trust resources, lands, and waters.
  • J. Scott Janoe is a partner and firmwide chair of Baker Botts’ environmental department. Based in the firm’s Houston office, he advises energy, mining, and manufacturing clients on a full suite of environmental issues, ranging from permitting and compliance counseling to litigation, enforcement defense, and crisis management. Over the years, he has developed particular experience in regulatory compliance issues arising from oil and gas exploration and production, and he has assisted energy clients on environmental matters nationwide.
  • Shailesh Sahay is Senior Regulatory Counsel for POET, the world’s largest biofuels producer. POET’s mission is for its team members to be good stewards of the earth by converting renewable resources to energy and other valuable goods. Based in Washington, D.C., Mr. Sahay develops regulatory and legislative positions on federal and state laws and proposals, interfaces with federal and state agencies, directs industrywide litigation efforts, and engages with industry trade groups. His areas of responsibility include climate and fuels regulations, environmental compliance, and international trade.
  • Fred Wagner is a partner in Venable's Environmental Group with 30 years of government and private practice experience in infrastructure development and environmental law. He focuses his practice on major projects and infrastructure developments, including environmental reviews, permitting and approvals from federal and state natural resources agencies, and litigation defense of project decisions and policies. From 2011 to 2014, Mr. Wagner served as Chief Counsel of the Federal Highway Administration. Fred began his career as a trial attorney in the Environment Division of the U.S. Department of Justice.
  • Peter H. Weiner heads the Environment and Energy practice of Paul Hastings, splitting his time between Los Angeles, Sacramento, and San Francisco. Mr. Weiner’s environmental practice focuses on species and wilderness protection, brownfields development, California Environmental Quality Act and NEPA (environmental impact reports), land use, Superfund, Clean Water Act, Clean Air Act, hazardous waste management, Proposition 65, and environmental insurance. His energy practice includes representation of solar energy, wind, geothermal, and biomass companies before federal, state, and local regulators. Mr. Weiner served in various capacities in California state government from 1975 until 1983, including Special Assistant to Gov. Jerry Brown for Toxic Substances Control, where he participated in drafting more than 25 of the state’s basic environmental laws.

The ELI Leadership Council is the Institute’s group for the most prominent environment, energy, and natural resource leaders in the nation. The Council recognizes leaders for their commitment of resources and time to the Institute’s vision of a healthy environment, prosperous economies, and vibrant communities founded on the rule of law. Members participate in events and have a chance to network and engage other leaders in discussions about key environmental law and policy issues.