BIOGRAPHY

Ira Feldman is a US-based sustainability leader with an interdisciplinary skill set and a global reach. He has over 25 years experience as an attorney and management consultant focusing on environmental regulatory innovation (e.g., alternatives to “command and control” regulation), strategic environmental management, sustainable business practices and corporate social responsibility. Ira is at the leading edge of the convergence of sustainability, climate adaptation and ecosystem services and he teaches these topics at the University of Pennsylvania. His recent work explores the role of ESG (environment-social-governance) factors in the financial sector; the implications of “soft law” or “private law” for business and government; and the use of Public-Private Partnerships (PPP) to advance sustainable development.

Reflecting the depth and breadth of his expertise, Ira currently serves on the advisory boards of such diverse organizations as the Center for International Environmental Law (CIEL); the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education (AASHE); the Sustainability Accounting Advisory Board (SASB); and the Greenhouse Gas Management Institute (GHGMI). He has long played a leading role in defining future domestic policy directions through his participation in environmental management and sustainability policy initiatives such as the President’s Council on Sustainable Development (PCSD) and the Multi-state Working Group on Environmental Performance (MSWG).

As team leader or in partnership with other consultancies and law firms, Ira has assisted governmental entities, multilateral organizations, think tanks, corporate trade associations and SME’s, on a wide range of implementation, policy development, and training activities. He led in the development of corporate voluntary excellence programs, environmental performance tools and strategies, and international voluntary standards such as the ISO 14000 series, ISO 26000 and GRI. Previously, as Special Counsel at US EPA headquarters, he pioneered new enforcement settlement approaches; developed the Agency’s audit and self-disclosure policy; and was the architect of EPA’s first corporate voluntary excellence program.

Ira is committed to advancing sustainability thinking in the US through policy initiatives and electoral politics; bringing clarity and coherence to the emerging field of sustainability professionals; assisting colleges and universities with faculty and curriculum development for sustainability in higher education; and remaining an active contributor to the substantive sustainability and climate dialogue.

QUALIFICATIONS

B.A. (interdisciplinary environmental studies, University of Pennsylvania, 1979)
M.S. (interdisciplinary environmental studies, University of Pennsylvania. 1980)
J.D. (Columbia University School of Law, 1985)
Advanced Certificate (Risk Assessment and Environmental Toxicology, Johns Hopkins School of Public Health, 1995)
Advanced Certificate (Management of Public and Not-for-Profit Organizations, Georgetown University School of Public Policy, 2003)

Bar Admissions: New York State and District of Columbia

ORGANIZATIONS & ACTIVITIES

Climate Adaptation Scholars LinkedIn Group Owner/Moderator
January 2012 – Present

Sustainability Lexicon Project ™ Founder and Director
May 2010 – Present

Going Green Today LLC Special Counsel
April 2013 – Present

International Society of Sustainability Professionals (ISSP)
February 2009 – Present
Board of Directors, April 2008 – August 2013
ISSP Management Team, August 2009 – May 2013.
Coordinator, Policy and Standards workstream, October 2011 – May 2013

American Society of Adaptation Professionals (ASAP)
April 2013 – Present
Policy Working Group
Research Working Group

SASB (Sustainability Accounting Standards Board)
Advisory Council
December 2012 – Present

American College and University Presidents’ Climate Commitment (ACUPCC)
May 2012 – Present
Member, Climate Adaptation Committee

World Bank Global Forum on Law, Justice and Development
Thematic Working Group “Law and Economy”
June 2013 – Present
Community of Practice on “Public-Private Partnerships”

Katerva — for a sustainable future (UK) Katerva Awards Committee
July 2013 – Present
“Behavioral Change – Scalability” panel expert

Vermillion Institute (Calgary, Canada) Senior Advisor
March 2011 – Present

Sustainable Enterprise Institute (Vienna, VA)
July 2013 – Present

American Bar Association ABA President’s Task Force on Sustainable Development, April 2013 – Present
Member, ABA Delegation to World Summit on Sustainable Development (WSSD) in Johannesburg (2002)

American Bar Association (ABA-SEER) Section on Environment, Energy & Resources (SEER)
May 1985 – Present
Past Chair, “Sustainable Development, Climate Change & Ecosystems” Committee (2002 – 2004)
Vice Chair, “Climate Change, Sustainable Development & Ecosystems” Committee (2004 – 2013)

American Bar Association (ABA-SIL) Section on International Law (SIL)
September 2006 – Present
Vice Chair, “Corporate Social Responsibility” Committee 
(2006 – 2013)
Steering Committee, “Corporate Social Responsibility” Committee
(2013- present)

International Organization for Standardization (ISO TC 207)
ISO TC 207 (ISO 14000 series)
January 1994 – September 2001
US/ANSI Expert, ISO 14031 (Environmental Performance Evaluation); ISO 14050 (Terms & Definitions); ISO 14063 (Environmental Communications)

US TAG to TC 207, Vice Chair, Sub-TAG 4 on Environmental Performance Evaluation

International Organization for Standardization (ISO WG/SR)
Working Group on Social Responsibility (ISO 26000)
March 2005 – November 2009
US/ANSI Expert to WG/SR for SSRO stakeholder group
Member, Chairman’s Advisory Group (CAG) for WG/SR
Co-Chair, Service, Support, Research & Others (SSRO) Stakeholder Group in WG/SR
Co-Chair, Drafting Team Environment in WG/SR

USTAG to WG/SR,
SSRO representative to Stakeholder Council

President’s Council on Sustainable Development (PCSD)
Environmental Management Task Force
April 1997 – August 1999

National Environmental Policy Institute (NEPI) Advisor to former Congressman and NEPI Executive Director Don Ritter
March 1995 – April 1999
Reinventing the Vehicle for Environmental Management (1995)

State of Maryland -Maryland Climate Change Commission, Adaptation Working Group
September 2007 – May 2009

Montgomery County, Maryland-Sustainability Working Group
September 2008 – Present
Advisor to Working Group Co-chairs

City of Rockville, Maryland Environment Commission
October 1999 – April 2002
Served successively as member, vice chair and chair of the commission

Gov. Martin O’Malley, Maryland- O’Malley-Brown Environment & Natural Resources Transition Team
November 2006 – May 2007

Attorney General Doug Gansler, Maryland- Maryland AG Environmental Advisory Council
November 2006 – Present

Environment 2004
National Advisory Council
October 2003 – November 2004
Coordinated Maryland and Boston Convention events

Obama-Biden 2008 Campaign Energy & Environment Team
September 2007 – November 2008
Coordinator, Ad Hoc Group for Sustainable Change

Obama-Biden 2012 Campaign Energy & Environment Team
February 2012 – November 2012
National Organizing Committee

PREVIOUS POSITIONS

  • Greentrack Strategies, president & senior counsel (1996 – present)
  • Capital Environmental, vice president (1995 – 96)
  • US Environmental Protection Agency, Special Counsel, Office of Enforcement and Compliance Assurance (OECA) (1990 – 95)
  • Skadden Arps, associate attorney (1987 – 89)
  • Kaye Scholer, associate attorney (1985 – 87)

ACADEMIC APPOINTMENTS

  • University of Pennsylvania (Philadelphia, PA)
    Lecturer, Masters in Environmental Studies (MES) (2002 – Present)
    – Exploring Ecosystem Services
    – The Challenge of Climate Adaptation
    – Crossing Borders
    – Transboundary Issues in Environmental Law, Regulation and Management
    – Global Environmental Issues
    – Environmental Management: Law and Policy (Wharton School)
  • Vermont Law School (South Royalton, VT)
    Lecturer, Center for Environmental Law (Fall 2013)
    – Introduction to Environmental Law
  • Washington College of Law, American University (Washington, DC)
    Environmental Law Summer Institute (2004 – 2006)
    – Environmental Regulatory Innovation