Emmett Institute on Climate Change & the Environment

Charting California's Course on the Environment:
From Brown to Newsom and Beyond
Sponsored by the Emmett Institute on Climate Change and the Environment at UCLA School of Law

June 6, 2019, 9:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.
UCLA School of Law, Room 1347

This event is free and open to the public. Your RSVP is required.



Mary Nichols
Chair, California Air Resources Board

Mary Nichols is the Chair of the California Air Resources Board, where she occupies the attorney seat. She has served on the Board under Governor Edmund G. Brown, Jr. (1975-82 and 2010-18), Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger (2007-2010) and Governor Gavin Newsom (2019—present.)  She also served as California’s Secretary for Natural Resources (1999-2003), appointed by Gov. Gray Davis. 

When not working for the State of California, Mary was a senior staff attorney for the Natural Resources Defense Council; Assistant Administrator for EPA’s Office of Air and Regulation, in the administration of President William Jefferson Clinton; and headed the Institute of Environment and Sustainability at UCLA.

Over a career as an environmental lawyer spanning over 45 years, Mary Nichols has played a key role in California and the nation’s progress toward healthy air. She has also led the Board in crafting California’s internationally recognized climate action plan.       


Ken Alex
Director of Project Climate, Center for Law, Energy & Environment, UC Berkeley School of Law

Ken Alex is Director of Project Climate at the Center for Law, Energy & Environment at UC Berkeley School of Law. Ken spent eight years as a Senior Policy Advisor to Governor Jerry Brown, the Director of the Governor’s Office of Planning and Research, and the Chair of the Strategic Growth Council, focusing on climate, environment, and land use issues. Before joining the Governor’s Office, Ken was the Senior Assistant Attorney General heading the environment section of the California Attorney General’s Office, and the co-head of the Office’s global warming unit. From 2000 to 2006, he led the California Attorney General’s energy task force, investigating price and supply issues related to California’s energy crisis. Ken is a graduate of Harvard Law School and holds a B.A. in political theory from the University of California at Santa Cruz. 

William Boyd
Professor of Law, UCLA School of Law; Professor, UCLA Institute of the Environment and Sustainability

William Boyd is Professor of Law at UCLA School of Law and Professor at the Institute of the Environment and Sustainability. He is the founding Director of the Laboratory for Energy & Environmental Policy innovation (LEEP) and the project lead for the Governors' Climate and Forests Task Force (GCF), a unique subnational collaboration of 38 states and provinces from Brazil, Colombia, Ecuador, Indonesia, Mexico, Nigeria, Peru, Spain, and the United States that is working to develop regulatory frameworks to reduce emissions from deforestation and land use.

Boyd was previously a Professor of Law and John H. Schultz Energy Law Fellow at University of Colorado Boulder School of Law. His primary research and teaching interests are in energy law and regulation, climate change law and policy, and environmental law. Boyd received his B.A. from University of North Carolina, his M.A. and Ph.D. from UC Berkeley, and his J.D. from Stanford Law School. 

Ann Carlson
Shirley Shapiro Professor of Environmental Law and Faculty Co-Director, Emmett Institute on Climate Change and the Environment, UCLA School of Law

Ann Carlson is the Shirley Shapiro Professor of Environmental Law and the Faculty Co-Director of the Emmett Institute on Climate Change and the Environment at UCLA School of Law. She is a leading scholar of climate change and air pollution law and policy, the co-author of a top casebook on Environmental Law (with Dan Farber and William Boyd), and the co-editor, with Dallas Burtraw, of Lessons from the Clean Air Act: Building Durability and Flexibility into U.S. Climate and Energy Policy (Cambridge University Press). She has published numerous articles in leading law reviews, including California, Harvard, Michigan, Northwestern, and UCLA. Carlson is currently serving as the Speaker of the California Assembly’s representative to the Independent Emissions Market Advisory Committee. She is the recipient of the UCLA Distinguished Teaching Award, the Eby Award for the Art of Teaching and the Rutter Award for Excellence in Teaching, and is the 2017 University of California Sustainability Champion. Carlson is a magna cum laude graduate of both UC Santa Barbara and Harvard Law School.

E. Joaquin Esquivel
Chair, State Water Resources Control Board

E. Joaquin Esquivel was appointed to the State Water Resources Control Board by Governor Jerry Brown in March 2017 and designated by Governor Gavin Newsom as Chair in February 2019. Previously, he served as Assistant Secretary for federal water policy at the California Natural Resources Agency in the Governor’s Washington, D.C. office, where he facilitated the development of policy priorities between the agency, the Governor’s Office, the California Congressional delegation, and federal stakeholder agencies.

For more than eight years prior to that he worked for U.S. Senator Barbara Boxer of California, most recently as her legislative assistant covering the agriculture, Native American, water, oceans, and nutrition portfolios, in addition to being the director of information and technology.

He was born and raised in California’s Coachella Valley. He holds a BA from the University of California, Santa Barbara in English.

Yana Garcia
Assistant Secretary for Environmental Justice and Tribal Affairs, CalEPA
Yana Garcia was appointed by Governor Edmund G. Brown Jr. in June 2017, to serve as Assistant Secretary for Environmental Justice and Tribal Affairs at the California Environmental Protection Agency (CalEPA). 
Prior to joining CalEPA, Yana was an associate attorney at Earthjustice, in the California regional office, in San Francisco. Yana was also a staff attorney at Communities for a Better Environment, serving in Huntington Park and Oakland. Her legal practice areas have focused on environmental justice issues, civil rights, land use, toxics and chemical disclosure, oil and gas extraction, and crude transport.  
Yana holds a degree in politics from the University of California, Santa Cruz and a law degree from Northeastern University School of Law.

David J. Hayes
Executive Director, State Energy & Environmental Impact Center, NYU School of Law

David J. Hayes is the Executive Director of the State Energy & Environmental Impact Center at NYU School of Law, which supports state attorneys general in their advocacy for clean energy, climate and environmental laws and policies. Hayes teaches at the NYU School of Law. He was a visiting lecturer at Stanford Law School and affiliated with Stanford's Woods Institute for the Environment and its Precourt Institute for Energy from 2013-2017. He previously served as the Deputy Secretary and Chief Operating Officer at the Department of the Interior for Presidents Barack Obama (2009-2013) and Bill Clinton (1999-2001).

Hayes is a member of the board of directors for the Coalition for Green Capital; the advisory council of Stanford’s Bill Lane Center for the American West; and founder of the US Wildlife Trafficking Alliance. He is a former partner and global chair of the Environment, Land & Resources department at Latham & Watkins.  Hayes graduated summa cum laude from the University of Notre Dame and received his JD from Stanford Law School, where he served as notes editor of the Stanford Law Review. 

Sean B. Hecht
Co-Executive Director, Emmett Institute on Climate Change and the Environment & Evan Frankel Professor of Policy and Practice, UCLA School of Law

Sean Hecht co-directs the activities of UCLA Law’s Emmett Institute, and works with students to serve environmental organizations and government agencies in his role as co-director of the Frank G. Wells Environmental Law Clinic. His teaching includes Public Natural Resources Law and Policy, Environmental Law, and a California State Environmental Law seminar, in addition to the Environmental Law Clinic. He collaborates on projects with practicing environmental lawyers, environmental and environmental justice advocacy organizations, policymakers, and the business community. Sean’s research interests include coastal resilience law and policy, the role of the insurance sector in addressing climate change, environmental justice, and federal public land law and policy.

Sean is a past chair of the State Bar of California’s environmental law section. Along with co-counsel in Center for Biological Diversity v. Department of Fish and Wildlife (Newhall Ranch), he received the 2016 California Lawyer Attorney of the Year (CLAY) Award for environmental law.

Jeannie Lee
Chief Counsel, Governor’s Office of Planning and Research

Jeannie Lee is Chief Counsel at the Governor's Office of Planning and Research (OPR). Prior to joining OPR, Jeannie was a Deputy Attorney General in the Land Law section of the California Attorney General Office. She was also an associate attorney at the Sacramento firm Remy Moose Manley LLP and focused on CEQA litigation. Jeannie has a J.D. from Lewis and Clark Law School in Portland, Oregon. She graduated from U.C. Berkeley with a Master’s Degree in City and Regional Planning, and a Bachelor’s of Arts and Bachelor’s of Science. Prior to joining the legal field, Jeannie was an environmental planner in Sacramento. She is a member of the American Institute of Certified Planners, and is on the Executive Committee for the California Lawyers Association’s Environmental Law Section.

Gladys Limón
Executive Director, California Environmental Justice Alliance

Gladys Limón is Executive Director of California Environmental Justice Alliance. Gladys has over 15 years of experience in legal, policy, and community-based work for environmental justice and civil rights. Having joined CEJA in 2017 as its first Executive Director, Gladys brings a deep connection to CEJA’s members and partners. 

Gladys has extensive experience working on behalf of immigrant communities, including as a staff attorney at the Mexican American Legal Defense & Educational Fund (MALDEF), where she litigated cases challenging anti-immigrant laws, racial discrimination, and protecting the rights of low-income immigrant workers.

Most recently, Gladys worked as an attorney at Communities for a Better Environment, one of CEJA’s core members, on high stakes environmental justice matters, including the shutdown of Exide’s battery smelter that for decades polluted surrounding communities with dangerous levels of lead and arsenic, resulting in one of the most serious environmental catastrophes in California.

Louis Mirante
Legislative Director, California YIMBY

The Legislative Director for California YIMBY, Louis helps coordinate policy development and legislative advocacy efforts for YIMBY legislative priorities. As an analyst in the California Department of Finance, Louis worked to develop and pass Governor Brown’s 2017 and 2018 budgets. This included work on legislation to improve the delivery of government services and quality of labor protections. Previously, Louis was an Executive Fellow with the California Air Resources Board in the Office of the Chair. In 2016, Louis co-founded House Sacramento, a local YIMBY organization.

Liane Randolph
Commissioner, California Public Utilities Commission 

Commissioner Liane M. Randolph was appointed to the California Public Utilities Commission by Governor Jerry Brown in January 2015. She formerly served as Deputy Secretary and General Counsel at the California Natural Resources Agency and was appointed to that position by Governor Brown in May 2011.

Commissioner Randolph's portfolio and interests at the Commission generally focus on long-term resource planning, infrastructure, and governance. She is the lead Commissioner for formal proceedings spanning the regulated electricity, gas, telecommunications, transportation and water industries. Commissioner Randolph leads the Integrated Resource Plan proceeding established per Senate Bill 350, the investigations into the future of the Aliso Canyon natural gas storage facility, the Resource Adequacy proceeding, the Climate Change Adaptation proceeding, and the Transportation Network Companies proceeding. She is also the chair of the Policy and Governance committee at the Commission, and has spearheaded reforms to the CPUC's Rules of Practice and Procedure. 

Commissioner Randolph obtained her law degree from the University of California, Los Angeles, where she also earned a B.A. in History.

Julia Stein
Supervising Attorney, Frank G. Wells Environmental Law Clinic; Project Director, Emmett Institute on Climate Change and the Environment, UCLA School of Law

Julia Stein is Supervising Attorney for the Frank G. Wells Environmental Law Clinic, and Project Director for the Emmett Institute on Climate Change and the Environment at UCLA School of Law. She was previously senior counsel at Cox, Castle & Nicholson LLP where she focused on environmental litigation, regulatory compliance, and land use practice, including litigating complex environmental cases in state and federal court, advising clients on compliance with state and federal environmental regulations, and assisting clients through land use entitlement and development processes. She also has experience lobbying, drafting legislation, and orchestrating research and comments on significant regulations.

Stein earned her B.A. cum laude from Georgetown University, and her J.D. from Georgetown University Law Center. During law school, she was a Global Law School and Teaching Fellow, and Senior Editor of the Georgetown International Environmental Law Review. After law school, Stein worked as an environmental litigator at Bingham McCutchen LLP, Latham & Watkins LLP, and Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman LLP.