The Pace Environmental Law Review would like to wish a fond farewell to a distinguished member of our faculty, Assistant Dean of Environmental Law Programs Alexandra Dapolito Dunn. Dean Dunn said her goodbyes to Pace earlier this month in order to take advantage of an extraordinary opportunity to serve as Executive Director and General Counsel for the Association of State and Interstate Water Pollution Control Administrators (ASIWPCA) in Washington, D.C. Although Dean Dunn will retain her Adjunct Professor position in order to continue her contributions to the Environmental Justice and Human Rights and the Environment seminars, her day-to-day accessibility, enthusiasm, and positive attitude will be sorely missed. We wish her all the best in her new endeavor and welcome her to pursue every opportunity to stay involved with Pace Law School in the future.
Dean Dunn contributed a great deal to the environmental curriculum during her time at Pace, including initiating the nation’s first Climate Change LL.M program, developing curriculums for new course offerings, and helping administer the United Nations Environmental Diplomacy externship. She is quick to mention her work with the Pace Academy for Applied Environmental Studies, however, as among her proudest accomplishments. The Pace Academy is an interdisciplinary organization that seeks to find solutions to pressing environmental issues by bringing together experts from across Pace University’s three campuses in the fields of business, law, science and health. Dean Dunn is also eager to note that the Academy’s current Director, Michelle D. Land (’02) is a former Editor-in-Chief of our journal.
With a considerable amount of practical experience to draw upon, including a six-year stint as General Counsel for the National Association of Clean Water Agencies (NACWA), Dean Dunn is well equipped to make immediate contributions at ASIWPCA. She will be taking the helm of a nearly forty year old non-profit organization that works to fulfill the credo, “clean water everywhere for everyone” by advancing sophisticated water pollution control strategies that can be effectively and uniformly applied by state environmental protection agencies from coast-to-coast. While her thorough knowledge of water pollution regulations, aptitude for practical legal work, and familiarity with Washington, D.C. are sure to serve her well, Dean Dunn will find some challenges of her new position entirely alien. Managing the complex financial and business aspects of a nationwide organization are certainly daunting tasks, but Dean Dunn will surely adapt to these new responsibilities and achieve lasting success.
While Pace is losing a valued member of our administration, Dean Dunn’s departure will also result in the creation of new opportunities for our student body. Specifically, our new Interim Assistant Dean of Environmental Law Programs, Judith Weinstock, is an accomplished local practitioner with a wealth of experience and a vast network of contacts in the field. Dean Weinstock is sure to add new dimensions to an already elite environmental curriculum. We are happy to welcome her into the Pace community and eager to work with her to ensure a seamless transition. Meanwhile, a search is underway for a permanent replacement, and rumor has it that the list of candidates being considered includes many remarkably successful academics and practicing attorneys.
Dean Dunn’s departure also opened a new opportunity for recent graduates to gain practical experience. One of Dean Dunn’s first actions in her new position, before even starting at the organization full-time, was to create a one-year policy fellowship at ASIWPCA and to hire Pace alum Susan Kirsh (PELR 2008-10) as its first recipient. She has stated a desire to dip back into the Pace Law well to fill this position in future years. Additionally, Dean Dunn will remain an important networking contact for Pace students and alum during her three-year term as Vice-Chair for the American Bar Association’s Section of Environment, Energy, and Resources and beyond.
Those who know Dean Dunn are keenly aware of the dedication, sincerity, and class with which she fulfilled her duties. Her door was always open and her advice always poignant and direct. On behalf of the Pace Environmental Law Review and the student body as a whole I would like to extend our sincere gratitude to Dean Dunn for all she has done for the University. Thank you, Dean Dunn, and good luck!