Robert F. Kennedy Jr. and Brendan DeMelle Environment Activist; Research Associate

Robert F. Kennedy Jr. is credited with leading the fight to protect New York City's water supply, but his reputation as a resolute defender of the environment stems from a litany of successful legal actions. The list includes winning numerous settlements for Riverkeeper, prosecuting governments and companies for polluting the Hudson River and Long Island Sound, arguing cases to expand citizen access to the shoreline, and suing treatment plants to force compliance with the Clean Water Act.

Mr. Kennedy acts as Chief Prosecuting Attorney for Riverkeeper. He also serves as Senior Attorney for the Natural Resources Defense Council and as President of the Waterkeeper Alliance. At Pace University School of Law, he is a Clinical Professor and Supervising Attorney at the Environmental Litigation Clinic in White Plains, New York. Earlier in his career Mr. Kennedy served as Assistant District Attorney in New York City.

The New York City watershed agreement, which he negotiated on behalf of environmentalists and the city's watershed consumers, is regarded as an international model in stakeholder consensus negotiations and sustainable development. He helped lead the fight to turn back the aggressive anti-environmental legislation during the 104th Congress.

Mr. Kennedy has worked on environmental issues across the Americas. He has assisted several indigenous tribes in Latin America and Canada in successfully negotiating treaties protecting traditional homelands.

Mr. Kennedy has published several books, including "The Riverkeepers" (1997) with John Cronin. His articles have appeared in The New York Times, Atlantic Monthly, The Wall Street Journal, Esquire, The Village Voice, The Boston Globe, The Washington Post, Pace Environmental Law Review, and other publications.

Mr. Kennedy is a graduate of Harvard University. He studied at the London School of Economics and received his law degree from the University of Virginia Law School. He also received a Masters Degree in Environmental Law from Pace University.

He is a licensed master falconer, and as often as possible he pursues a life-long enthusiasm for white-water paddling. He has organized and led several expeditions to Latin America, including first descents on three little known rivers in Peru, Columbia, and Venezuela.


Brendan DeMelle serves as Research Associate for Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. He also provides research for Laurie David and StopGlobalWarming.org. He graduated from St. Lawrence University with a BA in Environmental Studies and Sociology in 1998, and began his career with the EPA as an environmental justice advocate in Region 10, before returning to his home state of Connecticut as a Campus Organizer with the Public Interest Research Group (PIRG). From 2000-2005, he served as Corporate Lobbying Analyst and then Legal Analyst with Environmental Working Group, where he worked on the Chemical Industry Archives, nuclear and farm policy. He enjoys kayaking and hiking throughout the Pacific Northwest with his wife Anne.

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