President, Deeohn Ferris, JD leads the Company’s team of
interdisciplinary specialists and brings over twenty years of
experience to the firm.
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.
also understands environment from the perspectives of public
interest and social responsibility.
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.
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.
rights and the environment,
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.
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.
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.
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.
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;
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
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
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.