Community, Rights and Climate

Community, Rights and Climate

  Jonathan Lash, President, Hampshire College and former President, World Resources Institute delivered the 19th Annual Frank M. Coffin Lecture on Law and Public Service at the University of Maine School of Law. Lash's talk is titled “Community, Rights, and Climate: A Challenge for a Clever Species” and it draws upon Lash's experience as a global expert on climate change, energy security, and environment and development policies.

Jonathan Lash was President of the World Resources Institute (WRI) for two decades and was appointed earlier this year as President of Hampshire College.

Under Lash’s leadership, WRI developed innovative approaches to measuring and reducing greenhouse emissions, demonstrated the financial importance of environmental risks and opportunities to capital markets, and pioneered the use of digital technologies to solve environmental problems.

Appointed by President Bill Clinton, Lash served as co-chair of the President’s Council on Sustainable Development from 1993 to 1999. He played a key role in the creation and success of the U.S. Climate Action Partnership which in 2007 issued the highly influential “Call to Action” on global warming. Lash previously held posts as Director of Vermont Law School’s Environmental Law Center and as Vermont Secretary of Natural Resources and Commissioner of Environmental Conservation. He served in the Peace Corps, at the Natural Resources Defense Council, as a federal prosecutor, and as law clerk to U.S. Circuit Court Judge Frank M. Coffin, for whom "Frank M. Coffin Lecture on Law and Public Service" is named.

Lash's address is the 19th Annual Frank M. Coffin Lecture, which honors the late Judge Frank M. Coffin, a distinguished member of the United States judiciary and a long-time friend of the University of Maine School of Law. Judge Coffin was appointed to the U.S. Court of Appeals by President Lyndon B. Johnson in 1965, served as Chief Judge from 1972 to 1983, and assumed Senior status in 1989.

His commitment to public service spans a wide-ranging career, including roles as a member of Congress, Deputy Administrator of the Agency for International Development, Chair of the Committee of the U.S. Judicial Branch for the Judicial Conference, and founding chair of Maine’s Justice Action Group. Judge Coffin was an active member of the University of Maine School of Law Board of Visitors.

This talk was recorded October 20, 2011 at USM in Portland.

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