J.B. and Maurice C. Shapiro Environmental Law Symposium: Private Environmental Governance

February 22, 2017

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.

We think of private environmental governance (PEG) 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 a sustainable future. 


Thursday, March 2, 2017

8:30 - 9 am: Introductory remarks

  • Michael Vandenbergh, Vanderbilt University Law School
  • Lee Paddock, GW Law
  • John Forrer, GW School of Business

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


  • Zdravka Tzankova, Vanderbilt, Department of Sociology 


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

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


  • David Rapaport, Aveda Corporation and the Minnesota Sustainable Growth Coalition
  • Jeff Smith, Co-Director, Fordham Law School 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 

1:15 - 1:30 pm: The Jamie Grodsky Prize for Environmental Law Scholarship Presentation

1:30 - 3:30 pm: 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
  • Jackie Roberts, Carlyle Group
  • Matt Banks, WWF Climate Leaders Program
  • Professor Sarah Light, Wharton
  • David Hayes, Visiting Scholar, Stanford University

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


  • John Cruden, former Assistant Attorney General, Environment and Natural Resources Division, U.S. Department of Justice; former President, Environmental Law Institute


  • Professor Albert Lin, UC Davis Law School
  • 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

Friday, March 3, 2017

9 am - Noon: PEG and Accountability

Opening Remarks

  • Dr. Linda A. Livingstone, Dean, GW School of Business


  • John Forrer, GW School of Business


  • Professor Vibe Ulfbeck, University of Copenhagen
  • Professor Gaston de los Reyes, GW School of Business
  • Larry Hatcher, Vice President for Environment, Duke Energy 
  • Will Martin, former Board Chair, Marine Stewardship Council 
  • Jon Johnson, University of Arkansas, Sustainability Consortium

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

  • Joshua Galperin, Yale University

1 - 2:15 pm: Intersections Between Public and Private Governance, Part 1


  • Lee Paddock, GW Law


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

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 College of the Bahamas

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


  • Lee Paddock, GW Law


  • Paul C. Stern, National Research Council 
  • Pamela Campos, EDF 
  • Steve Harper, Intel 
  • Stan Meiberg, former Acting Deputy Administrator, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency

4:45 - 5 pm: Closing Remarks

  • Michael Vandenbergh, Vanderbilt University Law School
  • John Forrer, GW School of Business


This event is presented by 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.


Media interested in attending should contact Kara Tershel at 202.994.0616 or [email protected].


GW Law, long recognized as one of the top law schools in the country, pursues a distinctive research and learning mission that engages the leading law and policy questions of our time and provides students with an education that will position them to help change the world. Accredited by the American Bar Association and a charter member of the Association of American Law Schools, GW Law was founded in 1865 and was the first law school in the District of Columbia.


Media Contact

Kara Tershel
[email protected]



Thursday, March 2, 2017
8:30 am - 5:30 pm


Friday, March 3, 2017
9 am - 5 pm



The George Washington University Law School
The Jacob Burns Moot Court Room
2000 H Street, NW
Washington, DC 20052