2017 J.B. & Maurice C. Shapiro Environmental Law Symposium

Private Environmental Governance


Join the George Washington University Law School, Journal of Energy and Environmental Law, and School of Business; the Vanderbilt University Law School and Department of Sociology; and the Environmental Law Institute for an interdisciplinary symposium on private environmental governance in Washington, D.C.

We think of private environmental governance as occurring when private organizations take actions that supplement (or perhaps displace in some instances) the traditionally governmental functions of reducing negative externalities, managing common pool resources and producing public goods. Private governance may prove especially important in light of the recent election, which may result in a reduced federal role in at least some areas of environmental governance. Our goal is to identify common research questions across disciplines, to discuss what we know about the reasons private governance is being pursued and the structure of these programs, to better understand how companies monitor performance of private governance systems, to explore whether and how private governance is or is not contributing to better environmental outcomes, and to examine how linkages between private and public governance systems might produce better outcomes.

Those interested in receiving CLE credit should include the state for which CLE credit will be sought on the registration form. The cost of the symposium is $75. There is no charge to register for GW and Vanderbilt faculty, staff, students, and alumni. Requests for waiver of the registration fee for government staff and non-profit employees should be sent to Lee Paddock, [email protected].


Thursday, March 2

8 - 8:30 am: Registration and Continental Breakfast

8:30 - 9 am: Introductory Remarks by Symposium Organizers

9 - 10:15 am: Scene Setting—Why is PEG important for Academics and Practitioners?


  • Zdravka Tzankova, Vanderbilt University, Department of Sociology


  • Virginia Haufler, University of Maryland, Director of Global Communities
  • John Ehrmann, Meridian Institute

10:15 - 10:30 am: Break

10:30 am - 12:30 pm: Scene Setting—What is Happening with PEG Outside the Academy?


  • Jeff Smith, Co-Director, Fordham University School of Law Sustainability Initiative
  • Bob Mitchell, Vice-President, Social and Environmental Responsibility, Electronics Industry Citizenship Coalition
  • Cassie Phillips, Director, Private Environmental Governance Initiative, Environmental Law Institute
  • Andy Mims, Wolcott, Loring
  • John Johnson, University of Arkansas, Sustainability Consortium

12:30 - 1:15 pm: Lunch

1:15 - 1:30 pm: Grodsky Prize Presentation

1:30 - 3:30: Climate Change: Drivers of Private Climate Governance 


  • Michael Vandenbergh, Vanderbilt University Law School


  • Fatima Maria Ahmad, Center for Climate and Energy Solutions (C2ES)
  • Professor Tom Lyon, Ross School of Business, University of Michigan
  • Professor Ben Cashore, Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies
  • Astri Kimball, Google
  • Matt Banks, WWF Climate Leaders Program
  • Professor Sarah Light, Wharton

3:45 - 5:30 pm: Climate Change: Private Governance in New Sectors


  • Eric Orts, Wharton


  • Professor Albert Lin, UC Davis School of Law
  • Professor Kristen van de Biezenbos, University of Oklahoma
  • Professor Sara Rollet Gosman, University of Arkansas School of Law
  • Professor Virginia Harper Ho, University of Kansas
  • Sameer Kwatra, NRDC
  • Dave Hayes, Visiting Scholar, Stanford University

5:45 - 6:45 pm: Reception

Friday, March 3         

8:30 - 9 am: Registration and Continental Breakfast

9 am - Noon: PEG and Accountability

Opening remarks

  • Dr. Linda A. Livingstone, Dean, George Washington University School of Business


  • John Forrer, George Washington University School of Business


  • Professor Vibe Ulfbeck, University of Copenhagen
  • Professor Gaston de los Reyes, George Washington University School of Business
  • Larry Hatcher, Vice President for Environment, Duke Energy
  • Will Martin, Former Board Chair, Marine Stewardship Council

12:15 - 1 pm: Lunch and Presentation - The Intersection of Activism and Pragmatism in PEG

  • Joshua Galperin, Yale University

‚Äč1 - 2:15 pm: Intersections between Public and Private Governance, Part 1


  • Lee Paddock, The George Washington University Law School


  • Professor Anastasia Telesetsky, University of Idaho
  • Professor Peter Appel and Professor Irving, University of Georgia
  • Professor Rachel Deming, Barry University School of Law
  • Jason Czarnezki, Pace University School of Law

2:15 - 2:30 pm: Break

2:30 - 3:45 pm: Intersections, Part 2


  • Professor Stephanie Tai, University of Wisconsin
  • Professor Sarah Morath, University of Houston Law Center
  • Professor Lisa Benjamin, The University of the Bahamas

3:45 - 4:45 pm: Closing Dialogue on Next Steps


  • Lee Paddock, The George Washington University Law School


  • Paul C. Stern, National Research Council
  • Pamela Campos, EDF
  • Steve Harper, Intel

4:45 - 5 pm: Closing remarks

  • Michael Vandenbergh and John Forrer