Amy van Saun, President

Amy van Saun is a Senior Attorney in the Center for Food Safety’s Portland, Oregon office. A 2011 graduate of Lewis & Clark Law School, Amy has focused her legal education and career on public interest environmental and food law, earning a certificate in Environmental and Natural Resources Law. After clerking for CFS in law school, Amy joined CFS as an attorney in 2015. As part of CFS’s legal team, Amy practices environmental and administrative law to defend farmers, communities, and the environment from industrial animal factories, aquaculture, genetically engineered crops and animals, and the overuse of toxic pesticides, especially in the Pacific Northwest. Amy also works to protect the integrity of organic and ensure the transparent labeling of genetically engineered foods. Prior to joining CFS, Amy served as a volunteer attorney with Earthjustice working on animal factories on the East Coast, and then litigated complex environmental insurance cases at a law firm in Manhattan. Amy is admitted to the bar in Oregon and New York.

Jesse Buss, Vice President

Jesse Buss is a trial and appellate lawyer. The founder of Willamette Law Group in Oregon City, Jesse focuses his work on personal injury and insurance law, public interest environmental law, and elections law. He has served on the NEDC board since 2017, is NEDC’s past board Secretary, and is currently NEDC’s Vice President. Additionally, Jesse has represented NEDC at the Oregon Land Use Board of Appeals and at the Oregon Court of Appeals.

Karl Anuta

Karl G. Anuta is a solo practitioner in downtown Portland, OR. He operates under the astonishingly creative name of Law Office of Karl G. Anuta P.C. Karl practices plaintiff’s personal injury, conservation side environmental, toxic tort, water and land use law. He has been doing so for over 30 years now. He obtained his Law Degree, with a Certification in Environmental & Natural Resources Law, from Northwestern School of Law at Lewis & Clark in 1986. His undergraduate degree is from Lewis & Clark College, and appropriately enough was a “B.S.” in Political Science, obtained in 1981. Karl was recognized by Lewis & Clark Law School in 2003 as one of their Distinguished Environmental Graduates. He periodically addresses Conferences on a variety of topics, some of which he claims to actually know something about.  He is the author of several chapters in OSB publications on Environmental & Natural Resources and Administrative Law. He became a member of the Oregon Bar in 1986. He joined the Washington Bar in 1991. He is admitted to practice in all of the state and federal courts in both states. He sits on the Board of Directors of several nonprofit conservation groups, in addition to NEDC. In what limited spare time he has Karl enjoys fly fishing, canoeing, kayaking and white water rafting, camping, hiking, skiing and spending time with his wife Karen Russell (who teaches Water Law at Lewis & Clark Law School).

Peggy Hennessy

Peggy Hennessy has been a partner with Reeves, Kahn, Hennessy & Elkins since 1995, and has been in private practice for over 30 years. Her practice emphasizes the areas of real property, land use, estate planning and probate law. She was admitted to practice in Oregon in 1987, and Washington in 1988. She has also been admitted before the Federal Courts for the District of Oregon, the Eastern and Western Districts of Washington, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, and the U.S. Supreme Court. Peggy represents clients in state and federal courts, as well as before administrative bodies and local government entities. Her outside interests include sailing, kayaking, bicycling, hiking, skiing, camping, music, travel, and generally being outside with family and friends.

Ryan Shannon

Ryan Shannon is a staff attorney for the Center for Biological Diversity who works with the Endangered Species Act to provide protections to species threatened by extinction. Before joining the Center in 2017, Ryan was a legal fellow with Earthrise Law Center at Lewis & Clark Law School in Portland, Or. He earned his law degree from Lewis & Clark Law School in 2015 and received a bachelor’s in politics and philosophy from University of California, Santa Cruz.

Jamie Saul

Jamie Saul is a staff attorney at the Earthrise Law Center and a clinical professor of law at Lewis & Clark Law School. In this capacity he represents clients in public-interest environmental cases in state and federal courts, focusing on clean air, clean water, and solid waste litigation. Prior to joining the Earthrise staff in 2015, Jamie was an attorney at McGillivray Westerberg & Bender LLC and at Midwest Environmental Advocates, both in Madison, Wisconsin, where he practiced public interest environmental, natural resources, and energy litigation and administrative advocacy on behalf of individuals, community groups, and nonprofit organizations. Jamie is a 2007 graduate of Lewis & Clark Law School, where he was a clinical student at Earthrise (then known as the Pacific Environmental Advocacy Center), clerked for the Northwest Environmental Defense Center and the Seattle office of Earthjustice, and was a finalist at the 2007 National Environmental Moot Court Competition.In his spare time Jamie enjoys kayaking, skiing, mountain and road biking, and spending time chasing his two young daughters.

Lisa Benjamin

Dr. Lisa Benjamin is an Assistant Professor and Lewis & Clark Law School where she teaches International Climate Change, Environmental Justice, Energy Resources and Administrative Law. Her research investigates the intersection of corporate, energy and environmental law with a focus on climate risk and climate justice. She also researches climate change from the perspective of developing countries. She is currently a member of the Compliance Committee (Facilitative Branch) of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, a member of the Expert Peer Review Group of the UN-backed Race to Zero Campaign, and has been an adviser to, and member of, the Bahamian national delegation to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change.

Michelle Smith

Michelle Smith received her B.A. from the University of Colorado, Boulder, and her J.D. from Lewis & Clark Law School. After graduating she clerked for Justice Gregory J. Hobbs, Jr., Colorado Supreme Court, and then spent time working in the Oregon Attorney General’s office and in private practice. She currently works at the University of Oregon’s Environmental and Natural Resources Law Center where she explores legal and policy tools to support conservation goals and the Coalition of Oregon Land Trusts where she works at the intersection of land protection and water.

Lucy Brookham

Lucy Brookham is a Policy Associate for The Nature Conservancy (TNC). Her primary focus at TNC is policy and advocacy initiatives on local, state, and federal issues, including wildfire, water, and climate change. Prior to TNC, Lucy was the Policy Manager for Cascade Forest Conservancy (CFC), where she led CFC’s policy and advocacy programs. She was the NEDC law clerk from 2017- 2018 and has a J.D. in Environmental and Natural Resources Law from Lewis & Clark Law school and an M.A. in Communications from La Salle University. Originally from the United Kingdom, Lucy is an avid runner with a passion for the Oregon outdoors; in her spare time, you will find her running on the Wildwood Trail in Forest Park or on the slopes at Mount Hood.

Emma Bruden

Emma Bruden is an attorney at Kampmeier & Knutsen, PLLC, a public interest environmental law firm with offices in Oregon and Washington. Since 2016, she has been providing legal representation to organizations and individuals seeking to protect the environment. During law school, she volunteered with several environmental nonprofits, including NEDC. Now, as a practicing attorney, she serves on NEDC’s board to help protect the environment and natural resources of the Pacific Northwest and to support the next generation of environmental advocates at Lewis & Clark Law School. In her free time, Emma enjoys cycling, baking, sewing, refinishing old furniture, and exploring the Pacific Northwest with her pup.

Carra Sahler

Carra Sahler is a staff attorney with the Green Energy Institute at Lewis & Clark Law School. Carra has practiced law for nearly 20 years. She started her legal career as an associate attorney practicing land use law at Preston Gates and Ellis, LLP (now K&L Gates). She then became a permanent judicial clerk, where she worked for 12 years with federal district court Judge Garr M. King until he retired. Carra then joined Lewis & Clark Law School as the Director of Public Interest Law. Carra received her J.D. magna cum laude from Lewis & Clark Law School where she focused her studies in Environmental and Natural Resources Law. As a former student member of NEDC, and regular donor to the organization, she appreciates now being able to support NEDC as a board member beginning in 2021.

Teryn Yazdani

Teryn Yazdani was born and raised in Jackson, Mississippi, where she discovered her passion for environmental and climate advocacy at a young age. She moved to Portland in 2017 after graduating from Tulane University in New Orleans, Louisiana with a B.A. in Anthropology and Environmental Studies. In 2020, Teryn earned her J.D. from Lewis & Clark Law School with a certificate in Environmental and Natural Resource Law and was named one of the law school’s first Diehl Environmental Law Fellow recipients. Currently, she is the 2020-2022 Legal Fellow at Crag Law Center, where she previously worked as both a 2019 Summer Associate and 2019 Fall Extern. As a young attorney, Teryn is gaining experience in a variety of federal and state environmental legal issues. In her spare time, she enjoys taking in the beauty of the Pacific Northwest by hiking, camping, and foraging. She also loves baking, singing, and spending quality time with her pet bunny, Bogart.

Hannah Clements

Hannah Clements graduated from Lewis & Clark Law School in 2020 with a certificate in environmental and natural resources law. While at Lewis & Clark, she volunteered in NEDC’s Clean Water and Clean Air project groups, and then worked for two years as NEDC’s law clerk. After law school, Hannah spent a year clerking for the Honorable Michael W. Mosman of the U.S. District Court for the District of Oregon. She is now a staff attorney at Advocates for the West where she works to protect the public lands, waterways, fish, and wildlife of the western states.

Matthew Campa

Matthew Campa is a 3L Lewis and Clark law student who studied Environmental Sciences at University of California, Santa Barbara. Matthew has served as a student board member on NEDC’s board for 2 years and has participated substantially in NEDC’s DEI committee, drafting the committee’s Charter and working to amend NEDC values to reflect its commitment to justice. Matthew spent his summer clerking for two Portland public interest organizations, Earthrise Law Center and Neighbors for Clean Air. In recognition of his commitment to public interest and resource stewardship, Matthew was named Lewis and Clark’s 2022 Wyss Scholar.

Claire Deuter

Claire Deuter grew up in Rapid City, South Dakota and received her B.A. from South Dakota State University. She moved to Portland in 2019 to study environmental law at Lewis & Clark Law School and pursue environmental advocacy. She has volunteered with NEDC’s Public Lands & Wildlife group and clerked with Earthrise Law Center and Cottonwood Environmental Law Center. In 2020, she was elected as an NEDC student board member. Claire enjoys camping, traveling, live music, and hanging out with her cats.

Glenda Valdez

Glenda is a second-year law student at Lewis & Clark with a strong interest in environmental and energy law. She graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Madison in 2017 with a BS in Entomology and Applied Economics and certificates in Environmental Studies and Leadership, which prompted her interest in how the social and natural sciences can inform environmental law and policy. Prior to law school, Glenda worked for the Department of Interior and the National Science Foundation. These experiences focused her interests on energy and environmental justice, topics she is eager to address in her current involvement with NEDC as well as her future career. Within NEDC she serves on the public lands and environmental justice committees. As a new student board member Glenda is eager to get more involved with NEDC’s DEI efforts to chart a path forward with an eye towards equity in both organizational culture and the work carried out. In her free time Glenda enjoys going on long runs, getting coffee at La Perlita, and crafting.

Jaycie Thaemert

Jaycie is a 1L at Lewis & Clark this year, originally from rural Kansas by way of Oklahoma. She completed her undergraduate and master’s degrees in anthropology at the University of Oklahoma, where she conducted her thesis research over my hometown’s Superfund site and became passionate about using the law to provide environmental accountability. In her time outside of law school, she enjoys running, backpacking, and making art.