Speakers | Pace Law School

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George R. Stafford
Deputy Secretary of State
New York State Department of State

Mr. Stafford is a nationally recognized leader in coastal and ocean affairs. He has led New York’s coastal resources programs for 30 years. As New York State Deputy Secretary of State, he initiated creation of and guides New York’s involvement with the Mid-Atlantic Regional Council on the Ocean, the regional governance entity established in June 2009 by the governors of the five states; leads New York’s offshore planning that will guide the State’s involvement in federal coastal and marine spatial planning; serves as State lead for New York’s partnership with the U.S. Department of the Interior to guide offshore leasing for renewable energy; and serves as the Mid-Atlantic representative to the National Ocean Council Governance Coordinating Committee established by the President in July 2010 to improve management of the oceans and Great Lakes.

As Deputy Secretary of State, Mr. Stafford is also responsible for administering the NYS Building and Energy Conservation Code and the Department’s diverse community-based programs. Through these programs, Mr. Stafford guides management of staff experts and over $300 million of grants to successfully advance more than 400 often complex community revitalization and natural resource restoration strategies and projects.

Mr. Stafford is the recipient of the American Society of Public Administration 2011 Alfred E. Smith Award, in recognition of outstanding individual service and initiative which was exemplified superior management and administration within New York State.

Mr. Stafford holds degrees in environmental sciences and landscape architecture from the State University of New York College of Environmental Sciences and Forestry at Syracuse University.



Franz Litz (Moderator)
Executive Director, Pace Energy and Climate Center

Franz Litz is the Executive Director of the Pace Energy & Climate Center.  Franz has advised more than 30 states and provinces in North America on climate change and energy policy matters.  His recent work has focused on the potential for greenhouse gas reductions by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the states under the Clean Air Act, as well as other federal authorities.  Franz is an accomplished and sought after facilitator who has convened state and provincial officials, environmental advocates and business interests around climate and energy policy.  He has advised all three regional climate initiatives in North America, including the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI), the Western Climate Initiative (WCI) and the Midwestern Greenhouse Gas Reduction Accord.  Franz remains active in bringing states and provinces together from across the U.S. and Canada to cooperate on energy and climate change policy issues.

Before joining the Energy & Climate Center in 2011, Franz was a senior fellow at the World Resources Institute in Washington, D.C.  He led WRI’s state and regional climate change initiatives, as well as WRI’s engagement with the U.S. EPA

He also previously led the climate change efforts of New York State from a post within the New York Department of Environmental Conservation, where he was instrumental in forging the 10-state RGGI program to reduce emissions from the power sector.  Prior to that, Franz was an energy and clean air lawyer for New York’s environmental agency and for the large Boston law firm Brown Rudnick.  Franz is a graduate of Boston College Law School, cum laude, and Union College, magna cum laude.

Professor Michael Burger
Roger Williams University School of Law

Michael Burger teaches Environmental Law, Ocean & Coastal Law, Administrative Law, and Law & Literature at RWU Law. Prior to his arrival here, he was assistant acting professor of Lawyering at New York University School of Law. He also served for four years in the Office of the Corporation Counsel of the City of New York, where he worked on issues ranging from global warming to the protection of the City's drinking water supply to the renovation of Washington Square Park.

Professor Burger writes on environmental federalism and the intersection of environmental law and environmental literature. Recent articles have appeared or are forthcoming in the University of Cincinnati Law Review, the University of Hawaii Law Review, the Environmental Law Reporter, and other journals. He is a graduate of Columbia Law School, where he was a Harlan Fiske Stone Scholar and an articles editor for the Columbia Journal of Environmental Law; and of Brown University, where he graduated magna cum laude and received the Ratcliffe Hicks Prize for highest standing in language and literature. He also holds a Master of Fine Arts degree from the Graduate Creative Writing program at NYU.

Brandi Colander
Natural Resources Defense Council

Brandi Colander is an attorney with the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC), an international environmental non-profit with over 300 scientists, attorneys and 1.3 million members headquartered in New York City.  Working with NRDC’s Energy & Transportation group, her expertise in energy policy focuses on industry restructuring and utility regulation, energy efficiency, the “smart grid” and renewable energy programs - specifically offshore wind. Prior to NRDC, Colander worked at a private law firm in Connecticut. She earned her Master’s degree at Yale University, Juris Doctor at Vermont Law School and Bachelor’s degree from the University of Virginia. Colander is a graduate of the New York City Environmental Law Leadership Institute and an Environmental Leadership Program Fellow. She currently serves on the New York City Bar Association’s International Environmental Law Committee, and is a board member of Green-e and ioby (in our backyards), a New York based micro-philanthropic environmental non-profit, as well as the Virginia Club’s Board of Directors.

Michael Ernst, Esq
Tetra Tech

Michael Ernst has nearly 30 years of energy experience as an environmental attorney for Massachusetts state agencies, a Boston law firm, an independent Westborough transmission development company and now as Director of Regulatory Affairs for the Tetra Tech Energy Program.  At Tetra Tech, he helps supervise permitting of offshore and onshore wind farms from Maine to Hawaii. He has or currently supports the siting and permitting of 7 offshore wind parks and interconnections off the Mid-Atlantic coast and three in the Great Lakes, including off Rhode Island, New York, New Jersey, Delaware, Maryland, Virginia, Ohio and Michigan. Now he supports Deepwater Wind's Rhode Island wind farm projects including a cable to Long Island.  He has also supported the siting of two other wind farms south of Long Island for interconnection to Long Island and NYC.  Mr. Ernst was a member of the Tetra Tech team supporting the Bluewater Wind proposal and interviewed with NYPA to construct an offshore wind farm in Lake Erie and met with NYSDEC and PSC staff to discuss permitting that project.

An active member of the Offshore Wind Development Coalition, Mr. Ernst has met numerous times with staff of the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management and the Department of Interior to help streamline the BOEMRE leasing process.  As Vice President of Permitting and Siting for TransEnergie US Ltd, Mr. Ernst helped permit the Cross Sound submarine transmission cable to Long Island Sound. He served as General Counsel and Legislative Director of the Massachusetts Department of Public Utilities and as a Hearing Officer for the Massachusetts Energy Facilities Siting Board, and as Counsel to the Joint Committee on Energy of the Massachusetts Legislature.

Michael Snyder
New York State Department of State

Michael Snyder is an Ocean and Lakes Policy Analyst at the New York State Department of State, where he has a key role in developing and advancing an offshore renewable energy agenda for New York.  Among his duties, he leads the renewable energy component of an offshore planning effort recently initiated by the Department, and is an active participant in the development of the 2013 New York State Energy Plan.  He is involved in a number of interstate and federal partnerships seeking to advance appropriate offshore wind energy development in the Mid-Atlantic region. 

Prior to returning to New York, Mike was a policy advisor at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) in Washington, DC.  He led the agency’s involvement in the creation of the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands Marine National Monument, and advised NOAA and Department of Commerce leadership on issues related to marine transportation, resource protection, and coastal zone management. He began his career in public service as a Knauss Marine Policy Fellow at the U.S. Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation.  Mike received a Master of Public Administration degree from Syracuse University’s Maxwell School, and a Master of Science degree in Ecology from the SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry.  He received his Bachelor of Science degree from the University of Scranton. 



Professor Ann Powers (Moderator)
Pace Law School, Center for Environmental Legal Studies

Professor Powers is a faculty member of the Center for Environmental Legal Studies, where she teaches a range of environmental courses focusing on the law of oceans & coasts, international environmental law, UN diplomacy and water quality.  Her scholarship includes emerging ocean issues and water pollution trading programs, among other subjects.  Professor Powers’ recent work has focused particularly on ocean and international issues, and she has worked with United Nations Environment Program projects, and the International Union for Conservation of Nature’s (IUCN) Commission on Environmental Law and its Law Academy.  She chairs the Land-based Pollution Subcommittee on the Commission’s Oceans, Coasts & Coral Reefs Specialist Group.

Until joining the Center in 1995, she was vice president and general counsel of the Chesapeake Bay Foundation, a major regional non-profit environmental organization, where she supervised the Foundation’s legal work and its pollution control advocacy program.  Professor Powers also served as a senior trial attorney in the Environmental Enforcement Section of the U.S. Department of Justice, handling both civil and criminal cases, and as Assistant United States Attorney for the District of Columbia.  Professor Powers has testified on numerous occasions before the United States Senate and House of Representatives, and state legislatures and commissions.  She has served on many boards and panels, including the National Research Council’s Board on Environmental Studies and Toxicology, and the board of directors of the Environmental Law Institute, the Pace Environmental Litigation Clinic, and the American Bar Association’s Standing Committee on Environmental Law.

Professor Powers is a graduate of Indiana University and Georgetown University Law Center.  She clerked for the Honorable Thomas A. Flannery, U.S. District Judge for the District of Columbia.

Professor Rachael Salcido
Pacific McGeorge School of Law

Rachael E. Salcido is a Professor of Law at Pacific McGeorge School of Law, in Sacramento, California.  Professor Salcido is an order of the coif graduate of U.C. Davis School of Law.  Prior to entering academia she practiced in the Environment, Land Use and Natural Resources group of Pillsbury Winthrop LLP, in the San Francisco office.  She is an expert in offshore development and ecological restoration.  She is co-author of Global Issues in Environmental Law, a part of the Global Issues Series by West Academic Publishing.  Her articles on regulation of offshore development, restoration, and federalism have appeared in Ecology Law Quarterly, the Tulane Law Review, and Environmental Law.  She teaches Property, Environmental Law, Natural Resources, and Ocean and Coastal Law.  During the summer session 2011 she taught a short course on Hydroelectric and Wave Energy Development at Lewis & Clark Law School. 

Merrill F. Hathaway, Jr.
Federal Energy Regulatory Commission

Mr. Hathaway is a Senior Attorney, Office of General Counsel, Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, providing legal advice and support to the Office of Energy Projects, and a member of the staff’s Marine and Hydrokinetic Energy Team.  He is a Senior Policy Contact to the National Ocean Council and has been a member of the D.C. and Maryland Bars for over 30 years.  He graduated from Harvard College and Harvard Law School and entered private legal practice in D.C., specializing in telecommunications law.  He then joined the Federal Energy Administration, which was merged into the U.S. Department of Energy, where he served in a variety of management positions in the Office of General Counsel, dealing with regulatory and litigation issues affecting the petroleum, natural gas, hydropower, and other energy industries.

On the Commission’s staff, Mr. Hathaway has drafted rules for the conduct of hydropower, natural gas, and electric rate proceedings, pioneered the use of alternative dispute resolutions in hydropower hearings, and worked on a wide range of complicated cases related to the issuance of preliminary permits, licenses and certificates, as well as environmental protection and enforcement matters, arising under the Federal Power Act, the Natural Gas Act, the National Environmental Policy Act, and other federal laws.  As a neutral in hydropower cases, he has negotiated comprehensive settlements involving threatened and endangered species such as the whooping crane and salmon (Platte River, Priest Rapids, Anadromous Fish Agreements and Mid-Columbia Habitat Conservation Plans), dam removal (Edwards Dam), and international boundaries (St. Lawrence Project).  He has helped to clarify jurisdictional and other issues affecting marine hydrokinetic and pilot projects and recently has worked to improve the staff’s coordination with other federal agencies, including the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and the Coast Guard, and to support the administration’s new ocean policy, including coastal and marine spatial planning.

Mr. Hathaway grew up on an orchard on the island of Aquidneck, in Portsmouth, R.I., and served as a Naval Officer in combat aboard the USS Hamner (DD-718).  He is a father and grandfather, a proud owner of a Kerry Blue Terrier, and loves to garden and hike.

Julia Wood
Van Ness Feldman, P.C.

Julia Wood is an attorney in the hydropower practice at Van Ness Feldman in Washington, DC.  Her practice focuses primarily on hydroelectric and electric power matters involving the Federal Power Act and other federal statutes affecting energy and water development.  Julia provides legal counsel to the firm’s hydroelectric clients on relicensing and license compliance issues, and is involved in several major hydroelectric relicensing proceedings before the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission.  She also counsels clients on emerging legal issues regarding hydrokinetics and other forms of alternative energy development.  She currently serves as Vice Chair of the National Hydropower Association's Ocean, Tidal, and New Technologies Council.

Seth Kaplan
Conservation Law Foundation

Seth Kaplan is the Vice President for Policy and Climate Advocacy at the Conservation Law Foundation overseeing all work at CLF involving global warming and greenhouse gas emissions.

A graduate of Wesleyan University and Northeastern University School of Law he worked as a real estate and environmental attorney in private practice in New York City before his return to CLF (where he had previously worked as a law student) in 1998.

He oversees policy development and advocacy at CLF that ranges from issues regarding public transit expansion, clean renewable energy infrastructure, energy efficiency and regulation of emissions from automobiles as well broader legal advocacy regarding greenhouse gas emissions and energy policy.

His current work focuses on fostering renewable energy, working for climate protection and reducing the environmental impact of fossil fuel power plants and pressing for expanded opportunities for meeting energy needs through energy efficiency. This work has included FERC litigation and extensive participation in ISO New England and New England Power Pool processes.

Previously, he directed CLF’s transportation work, which included advocating in favor of expanded and cleaner public transit, including a successful effort to substantially reduce emissions from the MBTA bus fleet.

A native of Rhode Island, he is the father of three children. His wife, also a graduate of Northeastern Law, teaches at Suffolk University Law School.