Press Releases


October 17, 2023
For Immediate Release

(Washington, DC): The American College of Environmental Lawyers (ACOEL) is proud to announce its newly elected Officers and Regents, all of whom are active members of the College.  The American College of Environmental Lawyers is a professional association of distinguished lawyers who practice in the field of environmental law.  Membership is by invitation & members are recognized by their peers as preeminent in their field.  ACOEL members are dedicated to: maintaining & improving the ethical practice of environmental law; the administration of justice; and the development of environmental law at both the state & federal level. The newly elected Officers’ and Regents’ leadership terms began on October 6, 2023, at the College’s Annual Meeting, which was held in Park City, UT this year. 

The new Officers for 2023-2024 are:

Kevin Murray, a partner with Holland & Hart’s Salt Lake City office, was elected President. Kevin has expertise on complex contamination issues, especially those involving multi-jurisdictional and multi-agency matters in the real estate, mining, energy, petroleum, nuclear, and manufacturing industries. His practice focuses on managing environmental liabilities, repurposing real estate assets, and creating value through property remediation and planning.

Tracy Hester, a professor of law at the University of Houston Law Center, was elected President-Elect. His research focuses on the innovative application of environmental laws to emerging technologies and unanticipated risks, including climate engineering, deep decarbonization (particularly in energy production), nanotechnologies, artificial intelligence, and advanced wind, solar, and other renewable power systems. Prior to joining the University of Houston Law Center, Prof. Hester served as a partner in Bracewell LLP for sixteen years and led that firm’s Houston environmental group.

Robin Kundis Craig, the Robert C. Packard Trustee Chair in Law at the USC Gould School of Law, was elected Secretary. She teaches Environmental Law, Water Law, Ocean and Coastal Law, Toxic Torts, Civil Procedure, and Administrative Law. Craig specializes in all things water, including climate change adaptation in the water sector; the food-water-energy nexus; water quality and water allocation law; marine protected areas and marine spatial planning; and the intersection of freshwater and ocean and coastal law.  She is the author, co-author, or editor of 13 books, including Re-Envisioning the Anthropocene Ocean (2023), The End of Sustainability (2017), and textbooks on Environmental Law, Water Law, and Toxic Torts. She has also written or co-written over 100 law or science journal articles and book chapters.

Jessica Merrigan, a partner at Spencer Fane in Kansas City, was elected Treasurer. Jessie is a partner in the Kansas City and Overland Park offices of Spencer Fane and currently serves as Co-Chair of the Environment and Energy Practice Group. She counsels clients on environmental matters regarding regulatory requirements including permitting, compliance audits and enforcement response. She also assists clients in evaluation of environmental liabilities associated with real estate and corporate transactions, and represents clients in the litigation of environmental claims, including contribution claims under the federal Superfund law.

The newly elected Regents are:

Amy Edwards, Holland & Knight LLP, Washington, DC
Dave Van Slyke, Preti Flaherty, Portland, ME
Michael B. Gerrard, Columbia Law School, New York, NY
Kathy Beckett, Steptoe & Johnson, Charleston, WV
Steve J. Levine, Phelps Dunbar LLP, Baton Rouge, LA
Peggy Otum, Wilmer Hale, San Francisco, CA
Linda Bullen, Bullen Law, LLC, Las Vegas, NV
Andrew Fitz, Washington Office of the Attorney General, Olympia, WA

All Officers and Regents assume their posts on a voluntary basis and donate their time to ensure that the College operates efficiently.