Kate, chief environmental counsel to U.S. Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R.I.), joined Harvard Law School (HLS) on August 1, 2012 as policy director for the Environmental Law Program. Kate will launch a new HLS environmental policy initiative, which will work to promote HLS’s influence in ongoing debates about environmental, climate and energy issues. The initiative will focus on “governance design,” proposing ways to update legal frameworks to meet rapidly shifting energy trends and emerging environmental challenges. The initiative will first focus on the legal framework for shale gas development.
While on Capitol Hill, Kate served as Senator Whitehouse’s staff director for the Oversight Subcommittee on the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee. In that role, Kate worked on a number of nationally significant environmental policy issues, including negotiations around Senate climate bill provisions (carbon offsets, carbon capture and sequestration, and adaptation funding), defense of EPA Clean Air Act rulemaking, and oversight of the 2010 Gulf oil spill. Prior to this, for seven years, she worked in the U.S. Department of Justice’s Environment and Natural Resources Division as an environmental enforcement trial attorney, representing the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service, and other federal agencies in litigation under the Clean Air Act, the Clean Water Act, the federal Superfund program, and the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act. Kate holds a B.A. in political science from Tufts University and a J.D. from UC Hastings College of the Law where she graduated cum laude.