Val Washington is a retired environmental attorney. Throughout her career, she held a number of government and non-profit positions in New York state, including Assistant Attorney General, Deputy Commissioner in the Department of Environmental Conservation, and Executive Director of Environmental Advocates, the state’s leading environmental lobbying group. She taught several undergraduate and graduate environmental courses as an adjunct professor.
The first Earth Day ushered in a decade of aggressive and comprehensive environmental protection laws, largely during the Nixon administration. These measures initially served us well, but are now understood to be woefully inadequate to address climate change and the crisis it represents. This course will address some of the major successes of the environmental era, with a special emphasis on the role of activists, and the current urgent need for leadership.