Law School Honors Four Alumni Who Helped Create the Natural Resources Defense Council
Four environmental leaders and co-founders of the Natural Resources Defense Council have been selected to receive Yale Law School’s highest honor — the Yale Law School Association Award of Merit — during its Alumni Weekend 2010 in October.
James Gustave Speth, Richard Ayres, Edward Strohbehn Jr. and John Bryson, all members of the Yale Law School Class of 1969, were cited for their pioneering role in creating the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) in 1970 and helping to write, along with other NRDC lawyers, some of America’s bedrock environmental laws.
“Your achievement in creating the NRDC is overwhelming in its elegance, force and consequences,” Law School Dean Robert Post told the recipients. “In the course of its stellar history, NRDC has affected legislation and judicial decision-making in all areas of environmental law. It has influenced research, policy analysis, litigation, lobbying and education. Each of you has enjoyed an extraordinary career in environmental law.”
Speth, who will join the faculty of Vermont Law School in July, served as dean of the Yale School of Forestry & Environmental Studies (F&ES) from 1999 to 2009. Ayres is principal of the Ayres Law Group in Washington, D.C., and a widely respected authority on environmental issues, particularly the Clean Air Act. Strohbehn is an environmental attorney with Bingham and a member of the F&ES Leadership Council. Bryson is a senior adviser with Kohlberg Kravis Roberts & Co. and former chair, president, and CEO of Edison International.
The Yale Law School alumni present the Award of Merit annually to graduates or faculty members for their contributions to public service or the legal profession.