Professor Sharmila L. Murthy Delivers Annual Lloyd K. Garrison Lecture on Environmental Law

September 28, 2022

Professor Sharmila L. Murthy delivered the Annual Lloyd K. Garrison Lecture on Environmental Law on Thursday, September 15 on "Advancing Environmental Justice." The Lloyd K. Garrison Lecture on Environmental Law was established in memory of Lloyd K. Garrison in 1995. Professor Sharmila Murthy is Senior Counsel, White House Council on Environmental Quality Professor and Director of Faculty Scholarship and Research at Suffolk University School of Law.

Haub Distinguished Professor of Law, Katrina Fischer Kuh had the pleasure of introducing Professor Murthy, a respected scholar and attorney. During her introduction, Professor Kuh noted that Professor Murthy’s “work is remarkable for the real world impact it has had particularly with respect to environmental justice.” After the introduction concluded, Gilbert and Sarah Kerlin Distinguished Professor of Environmental Law and Associate Dean of Environmental Law Programs and Strategic Initiatives Jason Czarnezki presented Professor Murthy with the Garrison Award and Medal.  

Professor Murthy’s lecture focused on the advancement of environmental justice. She started her lecture by discussing the White House Council on Environmental Quality and explaining the Council’s priority areas, structure of the Office, and the initiatives the Council is tasked with. The overall focus of the lecture covered a variety of significant topics related to environmental justice, including the major executive orders on environmental justice, the key initiatives that have happened in the Biden-Harris administration, tackling the climate crisis at home and abroad, key actors, discussion on how the administration is seeking to advance environmental justice across the entire government. During the lecture, Professor Murthy noted, significantly, that “Our shared mission is to advance environmental justice for all.”

Sharmila L. Murthy is a Professor and Director of Faculty Scholarship and Research at Suffolk University Law School. She is currently on leave serving as Senior Counsel at the White House Council on Environmental Quality, where she supports the Biden Administration’s efforts on environmental justice. Professor Murthy’s scholarship focuses on human rights, access to water, climate change, and environmental justice.

After the lecture, audience members had an opportunity to comment and ask questions and a White Plains Alumni & Friends Reception immediately followed the Garrison Lecture. As in the past, this was an opportunity to reconnect with the superb network of Pace | Haub Environmental Law alums in the Westchester vicinity and beyond.


Lloyd K. Garrison Lecture History

Over forty-five years ago, Lloyd K. Garrison and his associate, Albert K. Butzel, of Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison, won the landmark decision to preserve Storm King Mountain on the Hudson River. This victory for the Scenic Hudson Preservation Conference did more than safeguard "an area of unique beauty and major historical importance" - it inaugurated what today we recognize as the field of environmental law.

Standing in court to protect nature, citizen suit legislation, the environmental impact statement process, and the balancing of economics with the preservation of scenic beauty and historic resources: these are all rooted in Scenic Hudson Preservation Conference v. Federal Power Commission, 354 F.2d 608 (2d Cir. 1965). The Lloyd K. Garrison Lecture celebrates the vision, public spirit and life of this attorney whose legal acumen led citizens in their successful advocacy of environmental quality at Storm King.

Lloyd K. Garrison passed away in 1991. For all his 93 years, Garrison devoted his brilliance and indefatigable energy to building a humane and caring society, respectful of the Rule of Law. Consistent with this dedication, Lloyd K. Garrison took up the citizens’ call to represent the Scenic Hudson Preservation Conference in its struggle to protect the Hudson River Gorge at Storm King Mountain. With characteristic enthusiasm he championed public participation rights for the community’s environmental interest, just as he did for civil rights and liberties. The Scenic Hudson victory is a living testament to Garrison's ever hopeful spirit.

The Lloyd K. Garrison Lecture on Environmental Law was established in his memory in 1995, four years after his death, and continues in his honor.

About Elisabeth Haub School of Law

Elisabeth Haub School of Law at Pace University offers JD and Masters of Law degrees in both Environmental and International Law, as well as a Doctor of Juridical Science (SJD) in Environmental Law. The school, housed on the University’s campus in White Plains, N.Y., opened its doors in 1976 and has more than 9,000 alumni around the world. The school maintains a unique philosophy and approach to legal education that strikes an important balance between practice and theory. Haub Law launched its Environmental Law Program in 1978, and it has long been ranked among the world’s leading university programs, with a current #1 ranking by U.S. World and News Report. Pace’s doctoral graduates teach environmental law at universities around the world. Pace’s JD alumni are prominent in environmental law firms, agencies and non-profit organizations across the U.S. and abroad. In 2016, the Law School received a transformational gift from the family of Elisabeth Haub, in recognition of its outstanding environmental law programs. For more information about Haub Law, visit

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