Staff

Joanne Spalding, Director

Joanne Spalding

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Joanne Spalding is the Director of the Environmental Law Program and oversees Sierra Club litigation nationwide. In her previous role as Chief Climate Counsel, she managed Sierra Club’s federal and state climate litigation and regulatory work and served as lead counsel for Sierra Club in litigation arising from EPA's greenhouse gas rules. She previously worked in private practice representing labor unions in environmental cases.

She received her B.A. from Northwestern University and her J.D. from the University of California's Hastings College of the Law. She clerked for the Honorable Melvin Brunetti of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit.

Blog posts by Joanne Spalding

 

Aaron Isherwood, Philip S. Berry Managing AttorneyAaron Isherwood​

Aaron Isherwood is the Philip S. Berry managing attorney for the Environmental Law Program. The position was created in honor of the late Phil Berry and his long, remarkable support for the Club's legal program. Aaron's responsibilities include helping chapters and other Club entities obtain approval for proposed litigation, as well as supporting the national Sierra Club's priority campaigns in various ways.

After graduating from college, Aaron spent a summer on the "slime line" in an Alaskan cannery, and eventually landed at Greenpeace in Chicago, where he worked for over 3 years. Aaron decided to go to law school when he learned from a prominent forest activist that court injunctions have saved more ancient forests than tree spikes. Before joining the Sierra Club as an associate attorney in 1999, Aaron clerked for the honorable Robert Durham of the Oregon Supreme Court, and also worked for the San Francisco-based law firm Shute, Mihaly & Weinberger.

Blog posts by Aaron Isherwood

 

David Abell, Managing ParalegalDavid Abell​

David joined the Sierra Club in 2011; he was drawn to and inspired by the Sierra Club's tireless advocacy in addressing climate change. In his current role, he co-manages the legal support team and is also responsible for managing the Law Program's eDiscovery practice. David primarily works on the Beyond Coal Campaign and works in Sierra Club's Oakland office. Before joining the Sierrra Club, David was a paralegal at a law firm in Oakland that litigates employment law issues. David has also worked with Bay Area Legal Aid in Oakland and Center for Food Safety in San Francisco. Outside of work, David enjoys playing music and during the winter months, snowboarding; he is also an avid collector of vinyl records.

 

Dori Jaffe, Managing Attorney​

Dori Jaffe is a managing attorney in the Washington D.C. office currently advocating for coal-fired power plant retirements, increased energy efficiency and transitioning the electrical grid to clean energy in the southeastern part of the United States. Prior to joining the Sierra Club, she spent 12 years as an Assistant Attorney General in Washington State handling all sorts of environmental matters relating to CERCLA, RCRA, Safe Drinking Water Act, and Clean Water Act. Some of her work touched on municipal water rights, tribal treaty rights and the cleanup and litigation of the nation's most contaminated site, the Hanford Nuclear Reservation. Dori has a B.S. in Environmental Engineering and a J.D./Master of Studies in Environmental Law from the Vermont Law School. Dori enjoys backpacking and hiking with her family (especially in the Pacific Northwest), traveling, and has completed a dozen marathons and over 2 dozen half marathons.

 

Elena Saxonhouse, Managing AttorneyElena Saxonhouse​

Elena joined Sierra Club in 2008 to work on the Beyond Coal campaign, and currently supports the campaign's efforts to transition her native state of Michigan off fossil fuels. She also supports the Healthy Communities campaign's work on energy affordability and environmental justice, and manages Sierra Club's efforts to ensure government transparency and accountability through strategic use of the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA).

Prior to Sierra Club, Elena worked for Earthjustice and the public interest law firm Shute, Mihaly & Weinberger, and clerked at the United States District Court for the District of Columbia. She graduated from Stanford Law School and received her undergraduate degree from Yale. Elena is mom to two energetic boys and enjoys birding and hiking. She is based in Oakland, CA.

Blog posts by Elena Saxonhouse

 

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Elizabeth Litwin, Operations Manager

Elizabeth is the operations manager in the Oakland office. Originally from a small town in Western Massachusetts, she moved to San Francisco in 2014 after 3 years working for the TD Garden in Boston, MA. Elizabeth graduated from Union College with a BA in Philosophy and Anthropology.

 
 
 
 

Eric Huber, Managing Attorney​

Eric Huber is a managing attorney based in the Boulder, Colorado regional office. He has litigated a wide range of environmental matters for over 30 years, with an emphasis on clean water, endangered species, national forests, climate and energy law. Before joining the Sierra Club, he was a staff attorney with Earthjustice, the Georgia Center for Law in the Public Interest, and in private practice.

Eric earned his J.D. from the University of Colorado School of Law, and his B.A. from the University of Colorado at Boulder, where he majored in Philosophy and Environmental Conservation.

Blog posts by Eric Huber

 

Gloria Smith, Managing AttorneyGloria Smith​

Gloria Smith is a managing attorney currently advocating for renewable energy and coal plant retirement before public utility commissions and courts nationwide. Gloria received her BA in environmental science at the University of California, Santa Barbara and her JD and certificate in environmental law at Lewis and Clark College of Law in Portland, Oregon. Before joining the Sierra Club, Gloria worked for four years in the Department of Interior's solicitor's office in Washington, D.C. where she represented the Fish and Wildlife Service and National Park Service before FERC.

In 2001, she found herself a very reluctant participant in Dick Cheney's energy task force, and knew it was time to return to the West and make amends. Gloria spent several years prior to joining the Club honing her trial skills at a plaintiffs' litigation firm in Burlingame, CA. Recently, Gloria switched from backpacking to whitewater boating on grounds that the latter offers more expansive food and drink options without compromising wilderness and wildlife opportunities.

Blog posts by Gloria Smith

 

Joshua Stebbins, Managing AttorneyJoshua Stebbins​

Joshua Stebbins is the managing attorney in the Washington DC Office. He has practiced environmental law at Meyer Glitzenstein & Crystal and previously at Wilmer Hale. He graduated magna cum laude, Order of the Coif from New York University School of law, and clerked for the Hon. Joseph. A. DiClerico of the United States District Court for the District of New Hampshire. He received his undergraduate degree in biology from Johns Hopkins University. In his spare time Josh enjoys hiking, garlic, and mostly being a dad.

 
 
 

Kristin Henry, Managing AttorneyKristin Henry​

Kristin Henry is a managing attorney currently advocating for coal-fired and fracked gas-fired power plant retirements and increased renewable energy and energy efficiency in the central part of the United States. Kristin has led successful actions to block regulations promulgated under the Bush Administration’s healthy forest initiative, to prevent the construction of new coal-fired power plants, such as the Taylorville Energy Center, and to retire aging coal-fired power plants that harm public health and the environment, such as the Big Sandy power plant in Kentucky. Her current docket focuses on bringing lawsuits that force utilities to internalize the true societal costs of burning coal.

Kristin graduated from Boston University and received her law degree from Golden Gate University School of Law. Kristin lives in Pennsylvania with her husband and two boys and enjoys being known as an urban environmentalist.

 

Sanjay Narayan, Managing AttorneySanjay Narayan​

Sanjay Narayan is a Managing Attorney with the Sierra Club's Environmental Law Program, and its Chief Appellate Counsel. His practice focuses on appellate litigation and federal regulation. He has represented the Sierra Club in multiple federal courts of appeal and the U.S. Supreme Court, as well as state appellate and supreme courts. Sanjay received his J.D. from Yale Law School in 1995, and an A.B. from Princeton University in 1991. He clerked for Justice Robert Eastaugh on the Alaska Supreme Court. Before joining the Sierra Club's Environmental Law Program, Sanjay worked for Farella Braun & Martel LLP in San Francisco, California and Earthjustice in Bozeman, Montana.

Blog posts by Sanjay Narayan

 

Andrea Issod, Senior Attorney​

Andrea studied Electrical Engineering at Rutgers University, and earned her J.D. from Berkeley Law, where she served as Editor-in-Chief of the Ecology Law Quarterly. She clerked for Judge Gary Taylor at the U.S. District Court in the Central District of California before starting at the Sierra Club in 2004. Andrea works out of the Oakland office on EPA rules, Mississippi clean energy work, and supports the Clean Transportation For All and Healthy Communities campaigns. In her free time, Andrea loves to travel, host dinner parties, and try out new playground equipment with her son.

Blog posts by Andrea Issod

 

Andres Restrepo, Senior AttorneyAndres Restrepo​

Andres Restrepo is a senior attorney with the Sierra Club's Environmental Law Program. Since 2013, he has worked for the Club primarily to advance stringent limits on greenhouse gases and other pollution from fossil fuel-fired power plants, oil and gas operations, residential and commercial heating appliances, and other sectors of the economy.

Andres was born in Massachusetts and grew up primarily in Colorado, where he developed a deep appreciation for the natural environment. He received a B.A. in English from Stanford University and a J.D. from Harvard Law School, where he was a senior articles editor on the Harvard Law and Policy Review. From 2010 to 2012, he was a Beagle Litigation Fellow at the Natural Resources Defense Council, and subsequently clerked for the Honorable Eric N. Vitaliano on the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of New York. Andres lives in Philadelphia with his wife, Lauren, and his daughters, Hannah and Vivian. In addition to spending time with his family, Andres is somewhat fanatical in his love for pub trivia, crossword puzzles, used bookstores, the Criterion Collection, the late poetry of Wallace Stevens, and curating his extensive collection of LPs and CDs.

Blog posts by Andres Restrepo

 

Bridget Lee, Senior AttorneyBridget Lee​

Bridget is a senior attorney who advocates for the end of fossil fuel burning in buildings and to power the electric grid. Prior to joining the Sierra Club, she worked in Earthjustice’s Northeast office where her litigation efforts focused on climate change and environmental health.

Bridget began her legal career as an associate at the specialty environmental law firm of Sive, Paget & Riesel, P.C. in New York. She received her J.D. from the New York University School of Law and her undergraduate degree from the University of Scranton. A native of the Hudson Valley, Bridget enjoys any time she can spend in, on, or near lakes, rivers, streams, or the Atlantic Ocean.

Blog posts by Bridget Lee

 

Casey Roberts, Senior AttorneyCasey Roberts​

Casey advocates at the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission and in federal courts for policies that protect consumers and allow full and fair competition by renewable energy and demand-side resources. Casey leads Sierra Club's work at several RTOs/ISOs and in federal court to promote market rules that minimize costs while ensuring market access for resources to provide the attributes that a changing electric grid and public policy require. Appearing before state regulators, she has worked on retail rate design to promote affordability and energy efficiency, and to encourage the growth of low-cost distributed energy resources

Casey received her J.D. from the University of California, Berkeley, and a B.A. from Rice University in biology and public policy. Following law school, she clerked for Judge James Parker in the District of New Mexico, and Judge Diana Murphy on the Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals. Before she joined Sierra Club in 2011, Casey was a fellow at the Natural Resources Defense Council and Altshuler Berzon LLP. Casey is based in Denver, Colorado and enjoys cycling, native plants, and exploring local trails and watering holes with her family.

Blog posts by Casey Roberts

 

Devorah Ancel, Senior AttorneyDevorah Ancel​

Devorah's docket supports the Sierra Club's Dirty Fuels campaign seeking to stem our nation's dependence on fossil fuels. She began fighting big oil when tasked with leading the Club's legal response to the BP oil spill disaster in the Gulf of Mexico. She has since developed the Club's campaign to fight the movement of volatile crude by rail, and successfully litigated against multiple West Coast crude rail terminals. She defended local ordinances restricting oil and gas development in residential and ecologically sensitive areas. Devorah continues to fight massive oil and LNG export terminals in the Gulf of Mexico, and manages the Club's offshore drilling litigation docket. Devorah has also worked on and litigated numerous oil and gas sector federal rulemakings governing offshore drilling safety, flammable fuel transport safety, toxic air emissions from oil and gas production facilities, and standards for renewable fuels. She collaborates closely with frontline communities and local officials directly threatened by fossil fuel development, seeking to halt the disproportionate harms caused by this hazardous industry. Devorah's practice and expertise encompasses a range of environmental laws including the National Environmental Policy Act, Endangered Species Act, Outer Continental Shelf Lands Act, Clean Air Act, and Clean Water Act.

Devorah earned her undergraduate degree from Washington University in St. Louis, her J.D. from Vermont Law School, and her Master's of Environmental Management from the Yale University. She is based in Austin, Texas.

Blog posts by Devorah Ancel

 

Doug Hayes, Senior AttorneyDoug Hayes​

Doug earned his B.A. from the University of Colorado at Boulder and his J.D. from Vermont Law School, and clerked for the Honorable Jane Tidball of the Colorado District Court. During law school, he worked at the Environmental and Natural Resources Law Clinic and the Vermont Natural Resources Council, and spent a summer in rural El Salvador helping to challenge a proposed gold mine in the country's most important watershed.

Aside from his work at the Club, Doug's all-time favorite job was a four-year stint as a ferry boat captain on Jenny Lake in Grand Teton National Park. Doug now works in the Boulder regional office, where he focuses on litigation involving dirty fuels and resilient habitats.

Blog posts by Doug Hayes

 

Elly Benson, Senior AttorneyElly Benson​

Elly is a senior attorney in Sierra Club's Oakland office working on the Beyond Dirty Fuels campaign. Originally from Chicago, she moved to Northern California in 1999 to attend Stanford University. After earning a B.A. in Human Biology with a focus on environmental policy, Elly moved to San Francisco and worked as a legal assistant at the Sierra Club Environmental Law Program. Inspired by the work there, she decided to attend law school

After earning a J.D. from Yale Law School, Elly worked as a litigation associate at Bingham McCutchen LLP in San Francisco. In 2012, she returned to the Sierra Club. Elly takes the Club's mission to heart: when not working to protect the planet, she spends her time exploring and enjoying it.

Blog posts by Elly Benson

 

Greg Wannier, Senior AttorneyGreg Wannier​

Greg is a senior attorney at the Sierra Club, where he focuses his advocacy on reforming energy and capacity markets and improving transmission planning to smooth the transition to a zero-carbon clean energy future. As part of this work, he regularly represents the Sierra Club at the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) and at Regional Transmission Organizations (RTOs/ISOs) in the Central and Western United States. Before coming to the Club, he clerked for the Honorable S. James Otero on the Central District of California, and served as Deputy Director of the Center for Climate Change Law at Columbia University. Greg earned a joint bachelor's degree in Evolutionary Biology and International Relations from UCLA, and a J.D. from Stanford Law School, where he also earned an M.S. in environment and resources from Stanford's School of Earth Sciences.

Originally from Southern California, Greg works out of Sierra Club's Oakland headquarters, where he happily enjoys the chilly-but-pleasant embrace of the San Francisco Bay Area and its inexhaustible collection of bike lanes and hiking trails. He is proud to be on the front lines combating climate change and other threats to the mountain communities he fell in love with growing up.

Blog posts by Greg Wannier

 

Josh Berman, Senior AttorneyJeremy​

Before joining the Sierra Club, Josh spent two years at the Natural Resources Defense Council working on coal-related and other litigation and clerked for the Honorable M. Blane Michael on the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals in Charleston, West Virginia. He completed a joint J.D./Master of Environmental Science degree at Yale, where he also did his undergraduate work. Josh's current docket involves supporting the clean energy transition in Mid-Atlantic and Northeast states and updating and implementing federal ozone air quality standards and federal light-duty vehicle emission standards. In his spare time, he enjoys time with his family and crazy birdwatching adventures.

Blog posts by Josh Berman

 

Joshua Smith, Senior AttorneyJoshua Smith​

Joshua D. Smith is a staff attorney currently advocating for clean energy and the retirement of coal-fired power plants. Prior to joining the Sierra club, Josh spent two and a half years working in Earthjustice's Florida office litigating issues related to water quality, public land use, clean energy, phosphate mining, and endangered species. Josh also served as a judicial law clerk to U.S. District Court Judge James A. Redden in Portland, Oregon after graduating from Lewis and Clark Law School.

In his spare time, Josh enjoys cycling, tennis, playing guitar, and exploring all that the San Francisco Bay Area has to offer with his wife and his three young boys. He also enjoys day dreaming about sleeping in on Saturdays without being woken up at the bottom of a dog pile and travelling--and hopefully doing both at some point within the next ten years.

Blog posts by Joshua Smith

 

Justin Vickers, Senior Attorney ​

Justin Vickers is a senior attorney for the Sierra Club's Environmental Law Program. His practice focuses on advocating for a cleaner, more sustainable, and equitable electric grid at the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission. Prior to joining the Sierra Club, Justin was a staff attorney at the Environmental Law & Policy Center, where he led the organization's work at regional transmission organizations in the Midwest. While at ELPC, he litigated numerous environmental and energy cases in state and federal courts.

Justin received his J.D. from Northwestern University School of Law in 2010, where he was an editor at the Northwestern University Law Review. He received his B.A. from the New College of Florida in 2005, where he wrote his thesis on free will and moral responsibility. Justin is an avid tabletop game designer and photographer. He is based in Chicago, Illinois.

 

Karimah Schoenhut, Senior Attorney

Karimah litigates for Sierra Club’s Our Wild America campaign. Her work involves defending public lands, including the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, and protecting imperiled wildlife, such as polar bears, panthers, and Florida Key deer. Prior to joining Sierra Club in 2017, Karimah litigated and engaged in advocacy for Defenders of Wildlife, Environmental Defense Fund, and the Delaware Riverkeeper Network. She has litigated against environmentally harmful energy infrastructure development and worked on challenges to agency decisions under the Endangered Species Act, Clean Water Act, and National Environmental Policy Act. She has also engaged in policy work on transmission and renewable energy development on public lands.

Karimah earned both a Ph.D. in Geology/Environmental Science and a J.D. from the University of Pennsylvania. Prior to law school, she worked as a civil engineer, environmental scientist, and adjunct professor.

 

Katie Ramsey, Senior Attorney​

Katie Ramsey is a senior attorney, focused on accelerating the transition to clean energy and decreasing pollution from the electric, building, and transportation sectors. She works on every regulatory aspect of the electric grid, from statewide resource planning to rooftop solar and microgrid programs. Before joining the Sierra Club in 2017, Katie worked on a variety of issues related to renewable energy, including advocating for distributed energy at the Clean Coalition, identifying potential areas for offshore wind development at the U.S. Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, and issuing grants for renewable energy research at the U.S. Department of Energy.

Katie earned her B.A. from Yale University and her J.D. at the George Washington University Law School. She enjoys spending time with her husband and two young sons, and exploring nearby beaches, forests, mountains, and playgrounds.

 

Laurie Williams, Senior Attorney

Laurie first joined the Sierra Club in 2013. She focuses on replacing coal with clean energy in several Central U.S. states. Born and raised in Hawaii, Laurie moved to the Mainland to earn her B.A. from Princeton University’s Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs. She subsequently obtained her J.D. from the University of Michigan. Before joining the Club, Laurie was an associate at Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld. From 2016 to 2017, she served as Colorado Governor John Hickenlooper’s Energy and Environmental Policy Adviser.

Blog posts by Laurie Williams

 

Matt Gerhart, Senior Attorney​

Matt is a senior attorney focused on accelerating the transition to clean energy in the western United States. Matt is based in out of Sierra Club's Denver office.

Matt received his J.D. from the UC Berkeley School of Law in 2008, and his B.A. from Pomona College in 2001. During law school, Matt worked for the Hon. Marilyn Hall Patel of the United States District Court for the Northern District of California. Before joining Sierra Club, Matt was an associate at a D.C. law firm specializing in environmental law, and then worked at Earthjustice for approximately eight years. Matt has extensive experience litigating environmental cases in federal and state courts and before state administrative agencies. In his spare time, Matt can often be found rock climbing, snowboarding, or hiking in the mountains.

 

Nathan Matthews, Senior AttorneyNathan Matthews​

Nathan Matthews joined the Sierra Club in May 2011 as an associate attorney. His previous work includes clerking for the Hon. Lawrence K. Karlton in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of California, serving as an organizer for the Rainforest Action Network, teaching in a rural high school, and commercially harvesting seaweed with a family-owned business. Nathan received a J.D. from the University of California, Berkeley and a B.A.S. from Stanford University. In his spare time he cooks overly elaborate food and hikes very far while carrying very little.

Blog posts by Nathan Matthews

 

Nathaniel Shoaff, Senior AttorneyNathaniel Shoaff​

Nathaniel Shoaff is a senior attorney based in Montpelier, VT, focusing on transportation electrification and the climate impacts of fossil fuel extraction on public lands. He joined the Sierra Club Environmental Law Program in 2009 after spending two years in private practice in San Francisco. His work entails policy advocacy on behalf of Sierra Club's Beyond Coal, Clean Transportation For All, and Our Wild America campaigns, and he's litigated National Environmental Policy Act and Clean Water Act cases on behalf of a dozen conservation organizations in state and federal fourt. He has extensive experience addressing Article III standing and NEPA climate issues.

Nathaniel received his B.A. from Middlebury College and his J.D. from Vermont Law School, where he was Editor-in-Chief of Vermont Law Review and coached JV soccer. In his spare time, he enjoys canoeing, bread baking, and showing his children how to stack a cord of wood.

Blog posts by Nathaniel Shoaff

 

Peter Morgan, Senior AttorneyJoanne Spalding​

Peter Morgan is a senior attorney in the Denver office. He works on issues related to coal mining and oil and gas extraction across the United States, with a particular focus on ensuring that resource extractors meet their clean-up obligations. He has litigated cases under federal and state laws including the Clean Water Act, Surface Mining Control and Reclamation Act, National Environmental Policy Act, and Resource Conservation and Recovery Act. Peter’s work has also allowed him to develop a unique expertise in the intersection of environmental law and bankruptcy law.

Peter holds a J.D. from Stanford Law School, an M.S. from Stanford University, and a B.A. from Middlebury College. Prior to joining the Sierra Club, Peter served as a law clerk for the Alaska Supreme Court. He enjoys running, cycling, hiking, cooking and exaggerating stories about his encounters with charismatic megafauna.

Blog posts by Peter Morgan

 

Sunil Bector, Senior AttorneySunil Bector​

Sunil is a senior attorney working to move the country Beyond Coal. Before joining the Sierra Club, Sunil worked at a private law firm helping clean technology companies with their efforts to combat climate change. Sunil hails from South Carolina, where he earned a B.S. in Biological Systems Engineering from Clemson University.

Prior to attending law school at the University of California, Berkeley, Sunil worked on environmental, civil rights, and civil liberties campaigns with Greenpeace and People For the American Way, among other organizations. In his free time, Sunil enjoys eating enormous amounts of food, napping, and guilt-induced workouts, largely in that order.

 
 

Tony Mendoza​Tony Mendoza, Senior Attorney

Tony Mendoza is senior attorney who advocates for clean energy in the central United States. Tony received his BA and JD from Yale University. Before joining Sierra Club, Tony worked at a law firm in Washington, D.C. Tony grew up in Virginia’s Shenandoah Valley. He enjoys fly fishing for wild trout and salmon, bird watching, and playing soccer.

Blog posts by Tony Mendoza

 
 
 

Zack Fabish, Senior AttorneyTony Mendoza​

Zack Fabish came to the Sierra Club to oppose climate change with public interest litigation. But before that, Zack was a civil litigator at a Bay Area law firm and a law student, respectively. Currently, Zack works in the eastern region on decarbonizing the electric grid, promoting clean transportation, and electrifying buildings, and supports the Club's federal administrative rules work. When not lawyering, Zack enjoys backpacking and photographing wildlife.

 
 
 

Jim Dennison, Staff Attorney​

Jim is an associate attorney focused on decarbonizing buildings and transitioning away from fossil fuels in the West. Before joining Sierra Club, Jim advocated for building decarbonization policies with RMI and litigated to defend clean car standards with Environmental Defense Fund. Jim received a J.D. from the University of Virginia and a B.A. in philosophy from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. After law school, Jim clerked for the Honorable Albert Diaz of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit. In his free time, Jim enjoys rock climbing, shooting pool, and tending to his plants and cat.

 

Joseph Halso, Staff AttorneyJoe Halso​

Joe Halso is a staff attorney focused on clean transportation. He works to electrify our nation’s vehicles while speeding the transition to a smarter, cleaner grid. Joe holds a B.A. from the University of Michigan, and a J.D. from the University of Michigan Law School. He is a Detroit native and a loyal Michigan sports fan. Before law school, Joe worked for the Michigan DNR, where he performed fisheries research. For a time, he also managed the University of Michigan’s outdoor trip program. During law school, he worked for the National Wildlife Federation and the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Michigan. In his free time, Joe enjoys skiing, backpacking, chasing frisbees and listening to NPR. He is based in Denver, CO.

Blog posts by Joseph Halso

 

Kate Huddleston, Staff Attorney​

Kate Huddleston is a staff attorney focused on the Beyond Coal Campaign. Prior to joining the Sierra Club, Kate litigated at the ACLU of Texas and the ACLU of Arizona, where she primarily worked on immigrants' rights issues. She also served as a law clerk at the Ninth Circuit and the Supreme Court of California. Kate holds an A.B. in history from Princeton University and a J.D. from Yale Law School. Before law school, Kate taught high school world history in Texas' Rio Grande Valley. In her free time, she enjoys soccer (mostly as a spectator lately), outdoor activities, playing with her dog, and reading voraciously.

 
 

Louisa Eberle, Staff Attorney​

Louisa Eberle received her B.A. in physics from Carleton College. Inspired by her volunteer work with Engineers Without Borders during college and The Wilderness Society after graduation, Louisa decided to pursue a career in environmental law. While earning a J.D. from the University of Michigan, Louisa received the Wyss Scholarship for the Conservation of the American West and was a summer clerk in Earthjustice's Rocky Mountain office. After clerking with Justice Peter Maassen on the Alaska Supreme Court in Anchorage, Louisa joined the Sierra Club in fall 2017. Louisa supports the Beyond Dirty Fuels Campaign, focusing on gas exports along the Gulf Coast. Louisa is based in the Denver office, and enjoys hiking and knitting.

 

Megan Wachspress, Staff Attorney​

Megan is a staff attorney with the Sierra Club working to accelerate decarbonization of the power grid in upper Midwest, with a focus on Illinois (her home state) and Wisconsin. Prior to the Sierra Club, Megan worked at a public interest firm representing employees and labor unions and served as a judicial clerk in the California Supreme Court and Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, and has represented criminal defendants and prisoners as a clinical student and through pro bono practice. Megan holds a Ph.D. from UC Berkeley where she wrote a dissertation of pirates and traitors in 17th century England and a J.D. from Yale. When not lawyering, Megan spends most of her time with her toddler and kindergartener (whose arrival into the world prompted her switch to climate work), some of it camping and hiking in Northern California, and undertakes occasional forays into trivia competitions and half-finished craft projects.

 

Rose Monahan, Staff Attorney ​

Originally from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, Rose Monahan received her B.A. from Penn State and her J.D. from American University. During law school, Rose gained experience in environmental law through multiple internships with the federal government and environmental nonprofits. Prior to joining the Sierra Club, Rose was an attorney with Fair Shake Environmental Legal Services, representing clients in environmental matters throughout Pennsylvania. She is currently a staff attorney advocating for the transition from fossil fuels to clean energy in the western United States. Rose enjoys hiking and backpacking in national parks and hopes to eventually see them all.

 

Sarah Krame, Staff Attorney​

Sarah is a staff attorney focused on Beyond Coal, Building Electrification, and Clean Transportation For All in the New England region. Prior to joining Sierra Club, Sarah practiced as a litigation associate at a firm.

Sarah received her J.D. from New York University School of Law focusing on Environmental Law and her B.A. in Environmental Studies from Emory University. During law school, Sarah interned with the Natural Resources Defense Council, the New York Attorney General Environmental Law Bureau, and the New York City Law Department Environmental Law Division. Based in Denver, CO, Sarah enjoys backpacking, hiking, biking, running, skiing, and any other activity that takes place in the mountains.

 

Tom Gosselin, Staff Attorney​

Tom came to Sierra Club by way of Tulane Law School, where he earned his J.D., Texas Law, where he earned his LL.M., and a stint as a legal aid attorney. He is now a Texas-based associate attorney with the Sierra Club working on all manner of environmental issues related to the export of liquefied natural gas via the Gulf of Mexico. When he's not doing that, he's probably hanging out with his wonderful wife and two dogs, hiking, trying to build up a respectable eBird profile, or working on a revisionist western novel he'll likely never finish.

 

Isabella Ariza, Associate Attorney ​

Isabella joined the Sierra Club's DC office in 2022 as an associate attorney. She graduated cum laude from law school in Universidad de los Andes, Bogotá ('16), and earned her LL.M. from Harvard Law School ('20). Before joining the Club, Isabella was a visiting clerk at the Inter-American Court of Human Rights and worked at the Corporate Accountability Lab in Chicago, where she explored litigation strategies to hold coal companies accountable for their human rights and environmental abuses abroad. For three years before her LL.M., Isabella was a civil litigation associate in a law firm in Bogotá and an activist for the signature of the peace agreement between the Colombian government and FARC. While at Harvard, she was a member of the Women of Color Coalition, became passionate about animal law and a big fan of feminist legal theory. In her free time, Isabella enjoys dancing and hanging out with her little nephews.

 

 

Kartik Raj, Associate Attorney kartik​

Kartik is an associate attorney with the Environmental Law Program at Sierra Club's Oakland office. Before joining Sierra Club, Kartik was a Legal Fellow at Earthjustice's Community Partnerships Program, representing disadvantaged communities in the fight for environmental justice.

Kartik graduated from UCLA Law in 2020 and earned his bachelor's at UCLA studying moral philosophy. During law school, Kartik supported environmental and animal advocacy groups, and founded Effective Altruism at UCLA. Kartik can often be found hiking among California's mountains, riding his bike, or searching out the Bay Area's best vegan food.

 

Lisa Diaz, Associate Attorney ​

Lisa is an associate attorney working on the Beyond Dirty Fuels Campaign. Lisa received her J.D. from Tulane University Law School, and her B.A. from the University of Miami, where she majored in Marine Affairs. During law school, Lisa gained experience in environmental law through her work as a student attorney at the Tulane Environmental Law Clinic and through her externships with the Tulane Institute on Water Law and Policy and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. Prior to joining the Sierra Club, Lisa was an associate attorney at a New Orleans law firm. Lisa is based in New Orleans, Louisiana. In her free time, Lisa enjoys hiking, sailing, and taking her dog for long walks.

 

Nihal Shrinath, Associate Attorney ​

Nihal is an associate attorney focused on combating climate change and pollution in environmental justice communities by transitioning California and other states away from fossil fuel consumption. Before becoming a lawyer, Nihal lived in New Orleans, where he worked at a wetland restoration company and then a gulf policy nonprofit. Nihal was lured to California by Stanford, where he received a J.D. as well as an M.S. in Environment and Resources. Prior to joining the Sierra Club, Nihal practiced at a firm in San Francisco, where he scratched the environmental itch by representing renewable energy clients in financial transactions and representing the Tuolumne River Trust in pro bono administrative proceedings. In his free time, Nihal enjoys cooking, playing tennis, and exploring all that Oakland has to offer with his snow dog Hima.

 

Patrick Woolsey, Associate Attorney​

Patrick is an associate attorney in Sierra Club's Oakland office working on the Beyond Coal Campaign. Before joining Sierra Club, he worked at San Francisco-based environmental law firm Shute, Mihaly & Weinberger LLP. Patrick received a J.D. from Yale Law School, a master’s degree in environmental management from Yale School of the Environment, and a B.A. from Columbia University. During law school, he worked at Yale’s Environmental Justice Clinic and interned at Sierra Club, the Natural Resources Defense Council, and the New York State Attorney General’s Office. Before law school, Patrick worked at the Environmental Law Institute in Washington, DC.

Patrick grew up in central Massachusetts. In his free time, he enjoys cycling, hiking, running, and walks in the park with his cat.

 

Rebecca McCreary, Associate Attorney​

Rebecca is an associate attorney for the Sierra Club's Beyond Dirty Fuels campaign based in Boulder, Colorado. Her work is focused on dirty fuels in the Permian Basin, and oil and gas export infrastructure along the Gulf Coast. Originally from East Texas, Rebecca holds a bachelor's degree from Texas A&M University in Environmental Studies. Rebecca received her J.D. from the University of Colorado Law School, where she interned with The Wilderness Society, worked as a student attorney for the Getches-Green Natural Resources and Environmental Law Clinic, and earned a certificate in Energy, Environmental, and Natural Resources Law and Policy.

Prior to law school, she worked at an environmental engineering and geology firm in the Dallas area. In her free time, Rebecca enjoys visiting the places along the Gulf of Mexico that she works to protect, and leisurely running half marathons.

 

Sari Amiel, Associate Attorney​

Sari is an associate attorney based in Washington, D.C., where she advocates for building electrification and grid decarbonization. She holds a B.A. from Johns Hopkins University in Global Environmental Change & Sustainability and Economics. Sari received her J.D. from the University of Chicago Law School, where she participated in the Abrams Environmental Law Clinic. After law school, Sari had a wonderful experience working as a Fellow at the Sierra Club, followed by clerking at both the U.S. District Court for the District of Maryland and the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit. Sari enjoys spending time outdoors, traveling, reading, and eating chocolate -- ideally all at the same time.

 
 
 

Violet Lehrer, Senior ParalegalViolet Lehrer​

Violet is a senior paralegal in the Oakland office, supporting Sierra Club’s advocacy to transition the U.S. from coal and gas to clean, renewable energy. Violet received her paralegal certificate from San Francisco State University in 2013, and a degree in Environmental Studies from the University of California, Santa Cruz before joining the Club in 2008. Outside of work, Violet can be found gardening, playing music, and getting lost in creative projects with her daughter.

 
 
 

Radhika Swaminarayan, Paralegal​

Radhika is a paralegal for the Environmental Law Program primarily supporting attorneys on liquified natural gas and the dirty fuels campaigns. After graduating Loyola Marymount University with a degree in Political Science, she went to pursue her paralegal certificate. While volunteering for grassroots environmental organizations she wanted to shift the focus of her career on becoming an eco-warrior.

She has moved and lived in many states and cities and that has helped her understand the need to protect our beautiful planet. Radhika is ecstatic to be a part of a team that is so passionate about their work and ready to fight to protect our environment. In her free time, she enjoys reading, being at the beach, and venturing out to new food places with friends.

 

Meral Basit, Research Analyst​

Meral graduated with a degree in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology from UC Davis before coming to the Sierra Club. She inherited her love for the environment from her father, who was a Sierra Club member in the 90s, and has been passionate about equity for as long as she can remember. Based out of the Oakland office, she now supports work for the Dirty Fuels and Beyond Coal campaigns, as well as the Litigation Coordination Program. Outside of work, Meral loves painting and learning the violin, to her neighbors' dismay.

 
 

Ashley Soliman, Legal Assistant​

Ashley is a legal assistant in Oakland, California supporting the Beyond Coal Campaign in the South Central region. Originally from Santa Clarita, California, Ashley attended UC Berkeley where she double-majored in Legal Studies and Environmental Economics and Policy. At Berkeley, she co-directed an undergraduate student-led environmental justice campaign called "Pour Out Pepsi," and was a research assistant for the Center for Law, Energy, and the Environment. She is passionate about using law as a tool for facilitating structural resource management change and upholding environmental justice.

Outside of work, Ashley enjoys hanging out with her two younger sisters, playing with her two dogs, listening to live music, or spending time outdoors with her housemates. She is beyond thrilled to join the Environmental Law Program.

 

Drew Mammel, Legal Assistant​

Drew is a legal assistant in the Washington D.C. office where he supports attorneys for the Beyond Coal Campaign and the Clean Transportation for All Campaign. Originally from Montana, Drew completed his undergraduate studies at Harvard University and received his Master’s from the University of Cambridge. While in school, he was active in fossil fuel divestment movements and researched the history of dam-building, environmental colonialism, and Indigenous dispossession. When not in the office, Drew enjoys exploring museums, ice skating, and sitting in parks.

 
 

Emma Szymanski, Legal Assistant

Emma Szymanski​

Emma is a legal assistant supporting the Beyond Coal Campaign and attorneys in the Denver office. She grew up in New Jersey and attended Fordham University in New York City where she received her B.A. in philosophy and religious studies. There she wrote on environmental philosophy and the phenomenology of climate change. She is passionate about conservation, climate justice, and land access for all.

In her free time, you can find Emma backpacking, playing guitar, collecting rocks, or leading tours at the Dinosaur Ridge outdoor museum.

 
 

Joaquin Garcia, Legal Assistant

Joaquin is a legal assistant in the Oakland, California office supporting the Beyond Coal Campaign for the North Central Region. Raised in Santa Cruz, California and with roots in Bay Area environmental justice communities, Joaquin attended Princeton University, where they majored in Anthropology and minored in Environmental Studies and Gender & Sexuality Studies. There, Joaquin received a public interest legal fellowship through Yale Law School and was active in campus divestment efforts around fossil fuels and Israel-Palestine, was heavily involved with the campus LGBTQ+ community, and advocated for racial justice on campus and beyond. They come to the Sierra Club most recently from the environmental justice movement, and are eager to bring an environmental justice perspective to their work.

Outside of the Club, Joaquin enjoys reading, urban hiking, sunbathing, and building their community.

 

Leah Bahramipour, Legal Assistant​

Leah is a legal assistant in the Oakland office, supporting the Beyond Coal Campaign and the Building Electrification Campaign in the Western region. She grew up in a small town in Northern California but moved to New York City to pursue a B.A. in both Environmental Studies and Politics at New York University. Her experience has primarily involved research and data analytics with entities like the United Nations and the U.S. Library of Congress.

Leah is incredibly excited to join the team and help transition our exploitative economy built on fossil fuels to a regenerative society built on sustainability and democracy. In her free time, she enjoys people-watching at coffee shops, finding the best dessert spots, and doing pilates.

 

Maddie Lipscomb, Legal Assistant​

Maddie is a legal assistant in the Oakland office supporting the Beyond Coal Campaign in the Western United States. She grew up in Santa Cruz, California, and attended UC Berkeley where she studied Public Health and Global Poverty and Practice. While at Berkeley, she researched the history of pesticides and the impact of industry funding on environmental science and regulation, and helped facilitate the Suitcase Clinic, a community organization that advocates and provides services for people experiencing housing insecurity.

Maddie is excited to join ELP and their community partners in promoting environmental justice. In her free time, she enjoys backpacking, reading cookbooks and psychological thrillers, and roller-skating around the Bay.

 

Tony Scigliano, Legal Assistant​

Tony is a legal assistant in Boulder, Colorado, working on the Dirty Fuels campaign. He holds a B.S. in Environmental Science and Wildlife Conservation. He has worked in both the nonprofit and corporate spaces, with involvement in several conservation nonprofits. His specific interest lies in the intersection between consumer culture, environmental degradation, and poverty. In his spare time, he dreams of a post-growth, steady state, well-being economy where the health of our planet is woven into everything we do.

 

Jasmine White, Operations Administrator

“Jasmine​

Jasmine is the Operations Administrator in the Oakland Office. She grew up in the Bay Area and moved to Los Angeles to study environmental science at UCLA. While at UCLA, she worked on a research project modeling habitat connectivity for the LA area and managed her local farmers’ market.

In her free time, she enjoys visiting her local library, trying out new recipes, crocheting, and bird watching.