(Newark, New Jersey, July 19, 2019) It is with both pride and sadness that the EELC Board of Directors announces that Executive Director Aaron Kleinbaum is leaving EELC to take the position as Assistant Attorney General for Environmental Enforcement and Environmental Justice at the New Jersey Attorney General’s Office. Our loss is New Jersey’s gain, and Kleinbaum’s new position is good news for the environment in our region.
Kleinbaum leaves behind his record as a legal advocate for a clean energy future, for preserved open space, and for environmental justice in disadvantaged communities. Under his leadership, EELC has had victories in combating climate change, including a recent denial of state permits for the NESE fracked gas pipeline project. Kleinbaum has opened up a new area of practice at EELC, Energy Efficiency, through EELC’s representation of local and national greens in front of the Board of Public Utilities. He has led EELC in representing Environmental Justice communities, like Newark’s Ironbound in land use and contamination issues, as well as the Ramapo Mountain Indians in their fight to maintain the right to conduct ceremonial practices on their land. He has worked tirelessly to safeguard the state’s water supply in the New Jersey Highlands and secured the legal right for the Highlands Council to be consulted on development issues. Kleinbaum leaves EELC stronger. Under his leadership, he has superbly marshalled people and resources to fight for the environment.
Pursuant to EELC’s succession plan, Ed Lloyd, Co-chair of the EELC Board will lead the Board’s national search for an Executive Director, and Alexi Assmus, PhD, Co-chair of the Board, will assume the role of Interim Executive Director. Lloyd founded EELC in 1993, has represented environmental groups for 45 years, and is an endowed professor at Columbia University where he heads the law school’s environmental law clinic. Assmus, a graduate of Harvard University and Stanford University has spent fifteen years doing research and teaching history of science at Harvard University, Polytechnic University, Princeton University, and the University of California at Berkeley. She has led community groups working on environmental and land use issues, and she is currently a strategic communications professional.
Dan Greenhouse will be the Supervisory Attorney while the Executive Director search is conducted and will have primary EELC staff responsibility for legal decisions. Prior to joining EELC as a Senior Staff Attorney, Greenhouse was an environmental litigator representing public and private clients, including eleven years of experience as Deputy Attorney General at the NJ Division of Law.
We cannot thank Kleinbaum enough for the unwavering commitment, passion, enthusiasm and motivation he has given to EELC over the past seven years. He will be greatly missed by the Board, staff, clients and donors alike. We look forward to following the success of his career and are hopeful and excited for the next chapter of EELC as we continue to thoughtfully and passionately represent our public interest clients.
Ed Lloyd, Esq., Co-Chair of Board
Alexi Assmus, PhD, Co-Chair of Board
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