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Laurie Ristino

General Counsel & Program Director

Meridian Institute

Laurie Ristino was a Member Scholar at the Center for Progressive Reform. During her time with the organization, she also served as a Board member and interim executive director.

Ristino is a policy and law expert on food security, the Farm Bill, climate change, ecosystem services, and land stewardship. Her work is concerned with developing new policy and civil society innovations to address climate change and social injustice while improving environmental and economic sustainability. She has published articles, op-eds, and blog posts proposing reforms to address soil, water, and air quality degradation, among other topics. Laurie has been quoted in top media outlets such as The Hill, Mother Jones, the Christian Science Monitor, E&E News, and Law360.

Laurie served as counsel for two decades at the USDA where she advised on natural resource and environmental matters. After a national search, she was appointed an associate law professor and the inaugural Director of the Center for Agriculture and Food Systems at Vermont Law School. Following Vermont Law, Laurie was a visiting scholar at the George Washington University Law School. She currently serves as the

Laurie earned her law degree with distinction from the University of Iowa, a Master in Public Administration from George Mason University, and a bachelor’s degree from the University of Michigan.