Professor Heinzerling Receives David Brower Lifetime Achievement Award

April 2, 2012 —

In recognition of her scholarship, teaching and policy leadership in the field of environmental law, Georgetown University Law Center Professor Lisa Heinzerling was selected as the recipient of the 2012 David Brower Lifetime Achievement Award. The honor was presented at the Public Interest Environmental Law Conference (PIELC) at the University of Oregon School of Law in March.

"Professor Heinzerling was the clear choice to receive the David Brower Award in light of her distinguished service to the values and work ethic of David Brower," said Alek Wipperman, co-director of the 2012 PIELC. "Her longtime commitment to environmental litigation and her creative administrative brilliance make her an example to public interest environmental advocates around the world. Moreover, she has remained committed to working in the public interest, both through her government service and her role in teaching the next generation of lawyers."

Established in 1997 by Land Air Water, a student environmental law group at the University of Oregon, the David Brower Lifetime Achievement Award is given annually at the PIELC to an activist or attorney who exemplifies Brower's spirit and accomplishments. Brower, a renowned environmentalist who became known as the "grandfather" of the PIELC, was the first executive director of the Sierra Club. He later founded Friends of the Earth and the Earth Island Institute and was twice nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize. He died in 2000 at the age of 88.

Heinzerling received an A.B. from Princeton University and a J.D. from the University of Chicago Law School, where she was editor-in-chief of the University of Chicago Law Review. She clerked for Judge Richard A. Posner on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit and Supreme Court Justice William J. Brennan, Jr. Before coming to Georgetown in 1993, she served as an assistant attorney general in Massachusetts, specializing in environmental law. 

Heinzerling served as associate administrator in the Environmental Protection Agency’s Office of Policy in 2009 and 2010. In 2007, she was lead author of the petitioners’ briefs in the case Massachusetts v. EPA, in which the Supreme Court ruled that the EPA did have authority to regulate greenhouse gases under the Clean Air Act.

Heinzerling is the co-author of Priceless: On Knowing the Price of Everything and the Value of Nothing (New Press, 2004). She has been a visiting professor at Harvard Law School and Yale Law School. In 2011, she was selected as the first recipient of the New Directions in Environmental Law Award by the Yale Environmental Law Association and the Yale Center for Environmental Law & Policy.