December 2011


Since I’m in China, behind the Great Firewall of China, and must blog via email, I cannot log into WordPress and correct the numerous grammatical in my last post (or the ones likely occurring in this post). Today, a 2L Vermont Law School student, with her Sun Yat-sen University partner, presented their research on "Community Participation & Waste Incineration in Urban China." The paper considers the role of public participation in the environmental context through the lens of waste incinerator siting disputes in Panyu and Hainan. The presentation at Sun Yat-sen University’s east campus in Guangzhou was well-attended by Chinese environmental law masters degree students. Now the Vermont Law School students will travel in Beijing for additional presentations at CUPL and Renmin.

As Faculty Director of the U.S.-China Partnership for Environmental Law, I’m on a three-work tour of China and southeast to support our Vermont Law School students and develop more student opportunities in the future. I was just in Hong Kong meeting with professors from Chinese University of Hong Kong (to discuss research collaboration), U.S. Consulate officials, managing partners of major law firms and international environmental NGOs. Today, I arrived in Guangzhou, China, with 6 Vermont Law School students participating in our Joint Research Project Program. Vermont Law School students are paired with Chinese students from Sun Yat-sen University, Renmin University and CUPL to write a joint research paper, and students travel to Guangzhou and Beijing to present their work. Students will also have the opportunity to meet with American and Chinese government officials, and environmental experts in China, as well as do some sightseeing. After China I’m off for meetings at the National University of Singapore and then meetings in Bangkok, all before travelling to Scandinavia where I am collaborating with Uppsala University on a China conference and researching eco-labeling for food.

“There are only a few weeks till 2012, which means you are probably trying to shovel your way through the flurries of “year-in-review” summaries that tend to accumulate around this time. One that stands out is Vermont Law School’s Top 10 Environmental Watch List, the venerated law school’s yearly synthesis of the country’s most pressing and topical environmental issues and developments.”


Reporting to the Director of the Environmental Law and Policy Program, the Policy Director will lead the policy component of the HLS Environmental Law and Policy Program and work closely with environmental law faculty, who will determine the Program’s priorities. The Relationship between the Policy Component of the HLS Program and the existing Clinical Component will be synergistic. The Policy Director will:

1) Coordinate with HLS’s Emmett Law and Policy Clinic to build out clinic projects into longer term, broader research efforts aimed at producing a range of deliverables, including white papers for legislators and regulators; guides and model codes for state and local actors and journal articles and books for academic audiences and think tanks; 2) Initiate research and policy projects that, in turn, may be pursued in the Clinic; 3) Work closely with environmental law faculty in developing constructive approaches to pressing environmental issues and overcoming hurdles to effective lawmaking; and 4) Be responsible for convening programs that bring law and policymakers to Harvard for meaningful dialogue, and also for reaching out to law and policy makers to promote the research of HLS environmental faculty and students via written submissions, oral testimony, or policy papers.

Topics to be addressed by the Policy Director will include a variety of energy/environment issues including climate change mitigation and adaptation, water resource management, environmental impacts of energy technologies (including fracking and carbon capture and sequestration), renewable energy, and energy efficiency. In certain years, some topics may achieve more attention than others, and topics of focus may expand or contract over time depending on the HLS Program’s priorities, and relevant legal and political developments. The scope of the projects (local, state, national, international) will vary, as will the intended audience for the research or policy deliverables.

Note: this is a two year term appointment, with possibility for renewal based on funding and business need. This position is not tenure-track, and does not include teaching responsibilities. This is a professional, exempt position. Regular work schedule is anticipated to exceed 35 hours in a work week, sometimes exceeding 50 hours including some nights and weekends

Credentials: JD, and 8-10 years minimum experience preferably in a variety of roles in public and private sector e.g., several years at an NGO, on the Hill, US DOJ ENRD, EPA, DOI, at a think tank and/or private practice. Bar membership required.

A combination of experience and training in different arenas will be preferred to experience in just one. The Policy Director must be nimble and able to work well with multiple constituencies both across the university and in the public and private sectors. Outstanding legal analytic, research and writing ability; experience convening public-private events such as workshops and conferences; ability to effectively translate and deploy student work product in public policy and legal arenas; excellent communication skills; track record as a team player.


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