Advisory Council

The Advisory Council is composed of leaders across a range of sectors and is independent from the attorneys general with whom we work. The views and guidance of the council assist the Center in making an impact, consistent with our mission as a non-partisan and independent academic center.

Advisory Council Chair

Katrina Wyman

Katrina Wyman

Sarah M. Herring Professor of Law; Director, Environmental and Energy LLM Program at NYU School of Law

Katrina Wyman is the Sarah Herring Sorin Professor of Law, and the Director of the Environmental and Energy LLM Program at NYU School of Law. Born and raised in Canada, Wyman has a BA, MA, and LLB from the University of Toronto and an LLM from Yale Law School. Before joining NYU School of Law in 2002, she was a research fellow at the University of Toronto Faculty of Law in 2001-02. Wyman’s research interests fall into three categories: property law, natural resources law and policy, and global attempts to redress historical injustices. She has undertaken case studies of the evolution of emissions trading, and property rights in fisheries and taxi licenses. She also has worked on the Endangered Species Act and the policy and legal responses to the possibility that climate change might prompt large-scale human migration.

Advisory Council Members

Robert Abrams

Robert Abrams

Former New York Attorney General; Senior Counsel, Stroock & Stroock & Lavan LLP

Robert Abrams served as the 60th Attorney General of New York, as well as being a member of the New York State Assembly and the Borough President of the Bronx. As AG, Abrams championed consumer rights and environmental protection. After 15 years of service as AG, Abrams joined Stroock & Stroock & Lavan as a partner. In 1996, the NYU School of Law established the Attorney General Robert Abrams Public Service Lecture, and in 2009, the Albany Justice Building was renamed the Robert Abrams Building for Law and Justice. He also served as president of the National Association of Attorneys General, on the New York City Charter Revision Commission, on the Board of the United Nations Development Corporation, and as a member of the Advisory Council for the Retired Attorney Pro Bono Program. Most recently his memoir was published: “The Luckiest Guy in the World: My Journey in Politics.”

Alicia Barton

Alicia Barton

CEO, FirstLight Power

Alicia Barton is the Chief Executive Officer of FirstLight Power, the largest clean power provider operating in New England today, with over 1,400 megawatts of hydroelectric, solar, and energy-storage assets in Massachusetts and Connecticut. Ms. Barton served most recently as President and CEO of the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority for three years and before that as CEO of the Massachusetts Clean Energy Center. She also co-chaired the Energy and Cleantech Practice at Foley Hoag LLP and served as Chief of Operations for SunEdison’s global utility business unit.

Frankie Sue Del Papa

Frankie Sue Del Papa

Former Nevada Attorney General

Frankie Sue Del Papa resides in Reno, Nevada. She is a lawyer whose public service includes one term as an elected member of the Board of Regents for the University of Nevada System of Higher Education; one term as Nevada Secretary of State and three terms as Nevada Attorney General. She is a graduate of the University of Nevada, Reno and the National Law Center of The George Washington University.

Dana Johnson

Dana Johnson

Director, Federal Policy Office, WE ACT for Environmental Justice

Dana Johnson serves as Senior Director of Strategy and Federal Policy at WE ACT for Environmental Justice and leads an advocacy, regulatory and policy-setting team. She has successfully helped shape the environmental industry narrative in the areas of clean air, healthy homes, water quality, energy democracy, and transportation standards.

Jim Jones

Jim Jones

Former Idaho Attorney General

Jim Jones is a former Chief Justice of the Idaho Supreme Court and Attorney General of Idaho. During his eight-year tenure as Idaho Attorney General, Jim successfully battled the State’s largest electric utility over control of the Snake River, resulting in the modernization of Idaho’s water law and an adjudication of the Snake River. He received the ADL’s Torch of Liberty award in 1987 for his work against white supremacists. In addition to Jones’ extensive legal background, he has been actively involved in his community, serving on numerous boards and committees in Idaho. He also dedicates time to pro bono work for the local refugee community. Jones received his J.D. from the Northwestern University School of Law and a B.A. in political science from the University of Oregon. Following law school, he served as an artillery officer in the U.S. Army in Vietnam, receiving a number of combat decorations.

Seema Kakade

Seema Kakade

Associate Professor of Law and Director, Environmental Law Clinic, University of Maryland Carey School of Law

Seema Kakade joined the University of Maryland Carey School of Law in July, 2017. Her research interests are in the area of air pollution, climate change, and energy. She has published articles in the top environmental law journals including the Harvard Environmental Law Review and the Ecology Law Quarterly. Professor Kakade’s legal practice experience is in environmental regulation and enforcement. Her legal practice in the Clinic specifically focuses on environmental justice matters in the mid-Atlantic region. In 2018, the Clinic received the American Bar Association’s “best student program” award. Prior to joining the law school, Professor Kakade served as a federal government attorney with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Office of Civil Enforcement, and the U.S. Department of Energy, Office of General Counsel. At both agencies, Professor Kakade won numerous awards for her work, including several bronze and silver medals for service, and twice received the Administrator’s Award for Excellence. Before her federal government practice, she worked as a research attorney and Co-Director of the India Program at the Environmental Law Institute. She also spent time as a litigation associate in private practice. Professor Kakade holds a bachelor’s degree from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and a JD from the George Washington University Law School. She is the recipient of the 2019 Environmental law Institute’s “Future’s Award” and is a Fellow with the American College of Environmental Law. She is also an active member of multiple organizations dedicated to serving the greater Asian American community.

Rao Konidena

Rao Konidena

President, Rakon Energy LLC

Rao Konidena is the President of Rakon Energy LLC, where he acts as an independent consultant focused on providing policy and testimony support, business development, and training in wholesale energy markets. Prior to starting Rakon Energy in 2018, Rao was a Principal Advisor for Policy Studies at Midcontinent ISO working on energy storage and distributed energy resources. Rao volunteers as an engineering mentor for middle school students participating in the Future City competition. Rao also serves on the boards of the Minnesota Solar Energy Industries Association, Ever-Green Energy, and the Finnish American Chamber of Commerce – Minnesota.

Virginia Lacy

Virginia Lacy

Senior Director Of Philanthropic Services, Energy Innovation

Virginia Lacy is Energy Innovation’s Senior Director of Philanthropic Services, where she leads work with the firm’s clients to create impactful strategies that achieve their climate and energy philanthropy goals. She has almost 20 years of experience working in clean energy, the electricity sector, socially responsible investing, and environmental policy. Prior to joining EI, Virginia was a Principal with the Rocky Mountain Institute (RMI). As a leader of RMI’s Electricity Program and founder of RMI’s Electricity Innovation Lab (e–Lab), she worked with utilities, regulators, corporations, governments and advocates to advance the clean energy transformation of the US electricity system. She led research and project teams focused on utility business model reform, the valuation of renewable energy and distributed energy resources, and clean energy strategy. During her ten-year tenure, Virginia authored or coauthored several publications, including RMI’s book Reinventing Fire. Prior to RMI, she was an analyst with the Investor Responsibility Research Center (IRRC), a socially responsible investment research firm. Virginia began her career at the national League of Conservation Voters in Washington, D.C. Virginia has a B.A. in government from the University of Virginia and a Masters in Environmental Management from Yale University.

Amit Narang

Amit Narang

Regulatory Policy Advocate, Congress Watch Division, Public Citizen

Amit Narang is Regulatory Policy Advocate for Public Citizen’s Congress Watch division. He is an expert on the federal regulatory process, and has testified before Congress on legislation and issues relating to Executive Branch administration of the rule-making process and Congressional oversight of federal agencies. He has been quoted in various media outlets including the New York Times, Washington Post, National Journal, The Hill, Bloomberg, Reuters, Huffington Post and has appeared on television and radio broadcasts including NBC News and National Public Radio. Amit earned his B.A. from the University of Pennsylvania and a J.D. from the American University- Washington College of Law where he was an editor of the Administrative Law Review. Amit is currently a member of the Advisory Board to the Administrative Law Review and a member of Advisory Board to The Oversight Project.

Kevin Poloncarz

Kevin Poloncarz

Partner, Covington & Burling LLP

Kevin Poloncarz is a partner at Covington & Burling LLP and co-chair of the firm’s Environmental and Energy Practice Group and Energy Industry Group. He is recognized as among the leading climate change lawyers in the U.S. and works on matters involving federal and state climate policy, carbon markets, clean energy and ESG/sustainability. He has represented electric utilities seeking to defend strong air quality and climate protections, including in litigation challenging efforts to weaken mercury and air toxics standards for power plants and state and federal tailpipe standards for cars and trucks. In 2020, he, along with New York’s deputy solicitor general, argued the main statutory point upon which the D.C. Circuit vacated EPA’s repeal of the Clean Power Plan. Kevin is a fellow and regent of the American College of Environmental Lawyers, a member of the board of directors of both the Environmental Law Institute and the Center for Applied Environmental Law and Policy, and on the advisory board of the Institute for Policy Integrity at New York University School of Law. He spends most of his time in Napa, where he lives with his husband and two rescue dogs and tends a flock of chickens and hobby orchard.

Noah Shaw

Noah Shaw

Partner, Foley Hoag LLP

Noah Shaw is a partner at Foley Hoag’s energy and climate practice, where he provides guidance on the legal, regulatory and policy issues that make up the renewable energy economy’s landscape. He concentrates on renewable energy project development, contracting, acquisition, sustainable development and clean technology practices. Noah previously held the position of General Counsel and Secretary of the Board of Directors at the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA). In this role, Noah was a senior member of New York State’s energy team and guided policy formation and designed program structures related to New York state’s Clean Energy Standard, New York state’s Offshore Wind program, New York state’s Green Bank, The NY-Sun solar program, and more. Noah is also a former U.S. Department of Energy Senior Legal Advisor.