Peter Lehner

Board Member

Peter Lehner is senior attorney and directs the sustainable food and agriculture program at Earthjustice, a nonprofit environmental law organization with offices around the United States.

Lehner develops strategies to reduce health, environmental, and climate impacts from food production and promotes a more environmentally-sound agricultural system.

From 2007-2015, Lehner was the executive director of the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) and the NRDC Action Fund, where he guided policy, advocacy, communications, strategy, development, and management and led the Action Fund's political activities.

From 1999-2006, Lehner served as chief of the Environmental Protection Bureau of the New York State Attorney General's office. He supervised all environmental litigation by and against the state, prosecuting a wide variety of polluters and developing innovative multi-state strategies targeting global warming and air pollution emissions from the nation's largest electric utilities. Law established in some of these cases now underlies the Administration's Clean Power Plan. He spearheaded novel watershed-wide enforcement programs and cases addressing invasive species, wildlife protection, and public health.

Lehner previously directed the NRDC’s clean water program, where he brought important attention to storm water pollution. Before that, he created and led the environmental prosecution unit for New York City. His cases protecting the city's drinking water laid the foundation for the city's current watershed protection program.

Lehner holds an AB in philosophy and mathematics from Harvard College and is an honors graduate of Columbia University Law School. He serves on the board of directors of the Rainforest Alliance, the Environmental Law Institute, the Butler Conservation Fund, and two large farms in Costa Rica. He is also a member of the American College of Environmental Lawyers. He has been honored with numerous awards by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and many environmental groups, mostly recently the 2015 Right Stuff Award by the Apollo Alliance Project of the Blue Green Alliance, for outstanding efforts to promote a sustainable environment and economy.

Forest canopy - photo by Sergio Izquierdo

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