Special Initiatives


New Orleans Updates






GERI President, Deeohn Ferris, JD leads the Company’s team of interdisciplinary specialists and brings over twenty years of experience to the firm.  Dr. Ferris is a graduate of Georgetown University Law Center specializing in public health, environment and natural resources, legislation and public policy, and the intersection of human rights and social justice.

Dr. Ferris’ career specializing in environmental law, public health and public policy began at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).  Dr. Ferris served as legal counsel in the Office of Legislation, and was selected to direct both the Pesticides and Toxic Substances Enforcement Divisions, and Special Litigation.  Next, in the private sector, she was environmental liability counsel with the American Insurance Association serving as industry regulatory policy liaison to Congress and the states.

Dr. Ferris also understands environment from the perspectives of public interest and social responsibility.  Dr. Ferris worked for the National Wildlife Federation as Director of Environmental Quality focusing on national grassroots legislative campaigns in areas such as pollution control, biotechnology and natural resources conservation.  Cutting edge cases during her tenure include the Exxon Valdez oil spill and New Bedford Harbor PCB natural resources damages litigation. 

Dr. Ferris launched the Environmental Justice Project for the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law, the first nationwide program pioneered by a major civil rights group.

Bridging civil rights and the environment, Dr. Ferris successfully introduced and led the national policy campaign that resulted in the groundbreaking Presidential Executive Order on Environmental Justice 12898, formation of the National Environmental Justice Advisory Council and the federal Inter-Agency Workgroup on Environmental Justice.  Dr. Ferris also organized global advocacy campaigns on the links between demographics, socio-economic impacts and the environment.  Under her leadership, the Lawyer’s Committee Project centered on sustainable environmental performance, environmental compliance and community interventions.

Next, she established the Washington Office on Environmental Justice, an international nonprofit organization representing a coalition of multicultural, community-based, grassroots groups and networks.  The Washington Office targeted capacity building and community policy advocacy on environmental performance measures, equitable natural resources management and preventive public health standards.  Her work positioned grassroots and indigenous peoples as proactive stakeholders and global proponents of healthy and sustainable communities.

Dr. Ferris serves on various governmental committees and boards including appointment by EPA to the Federal Advisory Committee on All Appropriate Inquiry, the new national environmental due diligence regulation.  Ms Ferris is a frequent speaker on environment, natural resources and healthy public policy.  A published author and expert Congressional witness, she has lectured in China, Turkey, South Africa and Mexico as well as colleges and universities throughout North America.  Her work with communities on global issues extends from these places to Fiji, Indonesia, Brazil, India, the U.K. and Nepal.


Dr. Ferris' accomplishments include:


  • Management and leadership roles at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, the American Insurance Association, the National Wildlife Federation, the Lawyer’s Committee for Civil Rights Under Law and the national Washington Office on Environmental Justice;


  • Convening in 1993 the first national inter-disciplinary and legal forum on environmental justice, civil rights and the environment, “Civil Rights and the Environment:  Bridging the Disciplines;”


  • Introducing and leading the national campaign that resulted in the Presidential Executive Order on Environmental Justice, E.O. 12898, creation of the National Environmental Justice Advisory Council and the federal Inter-Agency Workgroup on Environmental Justice;


  • Established the Washington Office on Environmental Justice in the nation's capitol, representing an international multicultural coalition of community based organizations, grassroots groups, regional networks and academics.  The Office focused on domestic and international environmental and natural resources policy and public health.


  • Coordinating community advocacy on environmental performance, compliance and equitable natural resources management as a charter member of the federal National Environmental Justice Advisory Council and the first Chair of the Council’s Enforcement Subcommittee; and


  • Advising U.S. delegations of environmental and social equity NGOs and CBOs at United Nations Preparatory Committees and key international activities leading up to and during the World Conference Against Racism in Durban, South Africa; the World Social Forum in Porto Alegre, Brazil; and the World Summit on Sustainable Development in Johannesburg, South Africa.


Dr. Ferris is an accomplished author and dynamic public speaker.  Ms. Ferris has published more than a dozen articles on ecological issues and has lectured in South Africa, at the Beijing Women’s Conference, Urban Habitat II in Istanbul, in Mexico, India, and Nepal and at universities and conferences throughout North America.





GERI is a woman-owned minority business enterprise

"Making the Most of Our World"

Copyright - 2005 - Global Environmental Resources, Inc.

All rights reserved.


Web Site Design by: Brightside Internet Communications, LLC