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Center for Progressive Reform Welcomes New Member Scholars

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Climate Justice Public Protections Responsive Government

WASHINGTON, D.C. (April 26, 2023) — The Center for Progressive Reform welcomes five preeminent public intellectuals to its network of Member Scholars, a group of professors of law and other disciplines with expertise in the fields of climate and the environment, regulation and governance, public health and safety, and equity and justice.

Member Scholars donate their time and expertise to advancing the Center’s mission to create a responsive government, a healthy environment, and a just society via independent policy research and analysis, congressional testimony, legal insight, media engagement, and more.

“We’re beyond thrilled to welcome these five leading academic lights to our esteemed network of scholars,” said Robert Glicksman, a law professor at The George Washington University, member of the Center’s board of directors, and chair of its scholar engagement committee. “These distinguished experts bring deep expertise in our priority areas — justice in energy and climate policy, regulatory reform, and worker and public safeguards — and will advance our work to protect the public and our environment and defend against conservative and corporate attacks.”

The Center’s new Member Scholars are:

  • Alyse Bertenthal, an assistant professor of law at Wake Forest University who studies the relationship between law and culture, including how cultural, legal, and scientific practices affect the construction and implementation of environmental law; the intersection of law and language; and how legal expertise is generated and performed.
  • Sharon Block, professor of practice and executive director of the Center for Labor and a Just Economy at Harvard Law School. Block has held key labor policy positions across the legislative and executive branches of the federal government, including as acting administrator of the White House Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs.
  • Michael Méndez, assistant professor of environmental policy and planning at the University of California, Irvine, and visiting scientist at the National Center for Atmospheric Research. Previously the Pinchot Faculty Fellow at the Yale School of the Environment, he authored the award-winning book Climate Change from the Streets and was awarded the Carnegie Fellowship.
  • Lemir Teron, assistant professor at the State University of New York (SUNY) College of Environmental Science and Forestry. Teron, who researches energy policy, community forestry, and environmental justice, has won awards for championing diversity and teaching excellence, and his work has appeared in numerous publications.
  • Shelley Welton, presidential distinguished professor of law and energy policy at theUniversity of Pennsylvania. Previously, she taught administrative, energy, environmental, and climate change law at the University of South Carolina, served as deputy director of Columbia Law School’s Sabin Center for Climate Change Law, and clerked for two judges.

Bertenthal, Block, Mendez, Teron, and Welton join a network of about five dozen other scholars from universities around the country. Our scholars are responsible for many of the Center’s greatest accomplishments, including defining and setting a progressive regulatory agenda; spotlighting industry manipulation of science for political gain; and pressing presidential administrations to advance climate and environmental justice and worker health and safety.

“Our scholars are our Center’s battery pack — accelerating our efforts to drive policy change at the state and federal levels and to achieve a healthier, more just, and more sustainable world,” said President of the Board Rob Verchick, a law professor at Loyola University New Orleans. “Every year, our scholars donate millions in pro bono legal expertise to advance progressive reform. We’re thrilled these esteemed experts will be fueling our collective efforts to protect people and the planet and create a more just society.”

Learn more about our scholar network on our Member Scholars page.

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Climate Justice Public Protections Responsive Government