Based on the breadth and depth of his legal, policy and management experience, John provides counsel that is uniquely valuable to clients who seek to advance the public good through sustainable and thriving enterprises, both for-profit and non-profit. John co-founded the firm, and helped to develop its robust energy and exempt-organization practices.
For more than 30 years, John has worked on complex and often contentious issues of importance both to public health and wellbeing and to private financial reward, from all sides. He has represented private clients in the renewable energy, public utility (electric and gas), health care and telecommunications industries, in both regulatory matters before state and federal agencies and also in private commercial disputes.
He gained the government perspective as General Counsel, Deputy Secretary and Secretary of the Vermont Agency of Natural Resources during the administration of Governor Howard Dean. In these capacities he ran a wide-ranging state agency that regulates industries and developers, manages vast and varied lands and facilities, ensures healthy ecosystems, and conducts civil and criminal law enforcement, an effort that was aided by his prior experience as a criminal prosecutor.
In 2009 John became President of Conservation Law Foundation, a New England-wide environmental advocacy non-profit with headquarters in Boston. He led the re-tooling of the financial and development functions of the organization, as well as its re-branding and market positioning for financial sustainability as well as mission success. He led an extremely talented team of advocates to articulate and skillfully implement a strategy to shift New England’s energy system toward a low-carbon, thriving future for the region, among other important initiatives of regional significance.
Through all of this experience John has come to understand the strengths and limits of the private sector, government authorities (executive, legislative and judicial) and non-governmental organizations like few people in our region today. As a result, his counsel is widely sought by entities on all sides, across New England and nationally.
In particular, he counsels renewable energy and progressive-minded utility clients and has led them to achieve significant successes, both in legal and permitting matters and in policy and strategic affairs. He also regularly counsels non-profits on strategic and organizational challenges they face, often relating to mission clarification, revenue generation, development and governance. Philanthropists also seek his counsel to enhance the impact of their charitable investments.
John is pleased to have re-joined his colleagues at the firm, and to resume his careful pruning of the hedge along the front sidewalk.
Director: Blue Cross Blue Shield of Vermont
High Meadows Fund
Fellow: New Economy Law Center, Vermont Law School
Former Board Member:
- EVermont, Inc. (Chair)
- Community Health Center of Burlington, Inc. (President, Capital Campaign Chair 2x)
- Greater Burlington YMCA
- Vermont Solid Waste and Air Quality Variance Board (Chair)
- Section Chair, Environmental Law Section, Vermont Bar Association
- Commonwealth of Massachusetts: Member, Climate Protection and Green Economy Advisory Committee, Massachusetts Global Warming Solutions Act of 2008
- Land Use Institute, Energy and Land Use Task Force, Vermont Law School
- City of Burlington Legacy Project
- ECHO Lake Aquarium and Science Center
- Conservation Law Foundation
- University of Vermont Transportation Center
- University of Vermont Masters in Public Administration Program
- Vermont Businesses for Social Responsibility (Policy Committee)