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Northwest Environmental Defense Center (NEDC)

About NEDC

Organizational Structure

NEDC is a non-profit, tax-exempt 501(c)(3) organization. In addition to their dedication to the protection of the environment and natural resources of the Pacific Northwest, NEDC’s Board of Directors bring a wide range of experience and knowledge to the organization. While many members of the Board of Directors, including the President, are practicing attorneys, there are always several student board members who bring unique perspectives to the Board.

The NEDC staff is comprised of an Executive Director, a Staff Attorney, and a Law Clerk who manage the daily obligations of the organization. The strength of the organization, however, is the student volunteers. NEDC students currently work as members of one or more of our project groups, including: Lands and Wildlife, Water, Air, and Sustainable Agriculture. The groups are coordinated by Project Group Coordinators who are responsible for evaluating notices of proposed agency actions and requests for assistance from other environmental groups to determine whether NEDC should be involved in a given project. Project Group Coordinators then discuss potential projects with student volunteers, allocate project assignments based on student interest as well as board member priorities, and work with students on projects.

NEDC Staff:

Mark Riskedahl, Executive Director
Mark grew up in a little house on the prairie in rural North Dakota.  He received a B.A. from the University of Minnesota and his J.D. from Lewis and Clark Law School.  Before attending law school, Mark worked in the social services, primarily with people dealing with autism.  During law school, Mark worked as the NEDC Law Clerk, a Project Coordinator, and Student Director.  Following graduation, Mark helped institutionalize NEDC’s influence on the Pacific Northwest by creating the Executive Director position.  Since that time NEDC has grown to a staff of four, with a broad number of student volunteers and hundreds of members and supporters across the country.

Andrew Hawley, Staff Attorney
Andrew is from Valley Forge, Pennsylvania.  Andrew earned his law degree in 2003 from Lewis and Clark Law School.  At Lewis and Clark, he volunteered with the Public Interest Law Project and worked for the Northwest Environmental Advocates and Defenders of Wildlife.  Andrew was a clinical student with the Earthrise Law Center.  Before coming to NEDC in 2008, Andrew worked for Defenders of Wildlife in Washington, DC.  Bar Admissions: Oregon, California, and District of Columbia.  Court Admissions: U.S. Supreme Court, U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia, U.S. District Court for the District of Oregon, U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California.

Hannah LewLaw Clerk
Hannah is originally from Baltimore, Maryland. She grew up with immense fascination and concern for the oceans and environment. In 2015, Hannah earned her B.S. in Biology, with a concentration in Marine Science, from Old Dominion University. Anxious to further her education and study environmental law, she began her studies at Lewis and Clark Law School the following fall. During her first year, Hannah immersed herself in volunteer work and became a Student Board Member with NEDC. She is ecstatic to continue her involvement with NEDC as the 2016-2017 Law Clerk.

Cassidy Valenzuela, Program Coordinator                                                                                                       Cassidy is from San Jose, California. She earned her B.A. in Communications and Environmental Studies from San Jose State University where she gained an interest in environmental law and policy. Cassidy moved to Portland to attend Lewis and Clark Law School where she earned her Master of Studies in Environmental and Natural Resource Law. In her free time, Cassidy enjoys spending time outdoors in the beautiful Pacific Northwest.