David J. Hayes
Past Executive Director
David J. Hayes was the State Impact Center’s executive director from August 2017 through January 2021. Hayes now serves in the Biden administration as Special Assistant to the President for Climate Policy.
David J. Hayes is a nationally recognized environmental, energy and natural resources lawyer who previously served as the Deputy Secretary at the U.S. Department of the Interior for Presidents Barack Obama (2009−2013) and Bill Clinton (1999−2001). As second in command, Hayes was the Interior Department’s Chief Operating Officer, with line authority over its nine major bureaus and 70,000 employees. From 2013 – 2017, he was a visiting lecturer at Stanford Law School and affiliated with Stanford’s Woods Institute for the Environment and Precourt Institute for Energy. Hayes was a member of the board of directors for the Coalition for Green Capital; the Advisory Council of Stanford’s Bill Lane Center for the American West; and founder of the US Wildlife Trafficking Alliance. Before and between his service in the Clinton and Obama administrations, Hayes worked in the private sector as a partner and global chair of the Environment, Land & Resources department at Latham & Watkins, an international law firm. Hayes graduated summa cum laude from the University of Notre Dame and received his JD from Stanford Law School.