RFK Jr. is Keynote Speaker at Summit

RFK Jr. is Keynote Speaker at Summit

Robert F. Kennedy Jr., one of the nation’s leading defenders of the environment, will be Barry University School of Law’s Keynote Speaker for the 2015 Environmental & Earth Law Summit, “Climate Disruption: Choosing Our Environmental Destiny,” to be held April 9 on the school’s Orlando campus. 

Kennedy’s reputation as a leading voice on environmental issues is rooted in several successful legal actions throughout his career. Kennedy was named one of Time magazine’s “Heroes for the Planet” for his success in helping Riverkeeper, a clean-water watchdog organization based in New York, fight to restore the Hudson River. The group's achievement helped spawn nearly 200 Keeper organizations across the globe. In 2009, he was named one of Rolling Stone’s “100 Agents of Change.”

Kennedy is a professor of environmental law at Pace University School of Law and serves as co-director of the school’s Environmental Litigation Clinic. He is President of Waterkeeper Alliance, senior attorney for the Natural Resources Defense Council, chief prosecuting attorney for Riverkeeper and co-host of the radio show “Ring of Fire.”  He is a partner on the CleanTech investment team of Silicon Valley’s VantagePoint Capital Ventures, the environmental advisor to Napo Pharmaceuticals, and serves on numerous boards. Earlier in his career, he served as assistant district attorney in New York City.

Kennedy’s address at Barry Law, “Our Environmental Destiny,” will conclude a daylong event that will feature panel discussions led by national, state and local experts in key environmental fields.

Barry Law Dean Leticia M. Diaz says Kennedy’s credentials as an environmental advocate make his the perfect voice to distill the day’s discussion into tangible, actionable solutions.

“Robert F. Kennedy Jr. has risen to the forefront on environmental issues because he is driven by results, not just words,” Diaz says. “The passion he brings to these important issues is truly inspiring, and I am confident that he will find himself at home alongside our law school’s dedicated environmental advocates.”

Kennedy is a graduate of Harvard University. He studied at the London School of Economics and earned his law degree from the University of Virginia Law School. Following graduation, he attended Pace University School of Law, where he earned a master’s degree in environmental law.

About the summit

Global climate disruption has been called the most important issue of our time. Barry University School of Law’s 2015 Environmental & Earth Law Summit, “Climate Disruption: Choosing Our Environmental Destiny,” will explore international, national, and local impacts of climate disruption, with distinguished panelists offering innovative approaches to address the challenges ahead. 

Click here to register online or email esummit@barry.edu for more information.

Approved for up to 4 CLE General Credits.


Schedule of events

8:00 a.m.: Registration and Coffee Hour – Legal Advocacy Center - 3rd Floor Atrium


9:00 a.m.: Opening Remarks

Welcome: Leticia Diaz, Dean and Professor of Law, Barry University School of Law

Introduction: Professor Kevin Leske, Barry University School of Law


9:10 a.m.: Panel #1 – International Approaches to a Worldwide Challenge

Student Introduction:  Michelle Gregory

Moderator:  Dr. Leslie Poole, Adjunct Professor of Environmental Studies, Rollins College

  Stan Bronson, Executive Director, Florida Earth Foundation

  Peter G. Brown, Ph.D., Director, Economics for the Anthropocene project, McGill University

  Michelle Maloney, Ph.D., Convenor, Australian Earth Laws Alliance


10:00 a.m.: Break


10:15 a.m.:  Panel #2 – Our National Response

Student Introduction:  Margaret Stewart

Moderator:  Karen Consalo, Esq., Principal, The Consalo Law Firm, P.A.

   Chris Castro, Sustainability Program Manager/Senior Energy Advisor, City of Orlando

   Rep. Kristin Jacobs, Florida House of Representatives

   Luis G. Martinez, Esq., Senior Attorney, Director of Southeast Energy, Natural Resources Defense Council



11:05 a.m.: Break


11:25 a.m.:  Panel #3 – Florida on the Front Line

Student Introduction:  Pamela Lipetri

Moderator:  Chuck O’Neal, Chairman, Natural Resources Committee, League of Women Voters of Florida

   Josephine Balzac, Esq., LL.M., Chief Environmental Officer, EarthWeb Foundation

   Anthony J. Cotter, Esq., Assistant County Attorney, Orange County, Florida

   Clayton Louis Ferrara, Executive Director, IDEAS for Us


12:10 p.m.: Concluding Remarks

Summary and Conclusions:  Professor Rachel Deming, Barry University School of Law


12:15 p.m.:  Lunch - Courtyard


2:00 p.m.: Keynote Address by Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. - “Our Environmental Destiny”


3:00 p.m.: Questions & Answers


3:30 p.m.: Presentation of Distinguished Environmental & Earth Law Award and Closing Remarks



All program events in Legal Advocacy Center 311 unless otherwise noted.


* Registration for Summit includes admission to Keynote Address.

Please contact us for more information on registration and CLE fees.