Disaster and climate change law from a former EPA official in the Obama administration
Jan 15, 2020
Rob Verchick
Disaster and climate change law from a former EPA official in the Obama administration


Rob Verchick is one of the nation’s leading scholars in disaster and climate change law and a former EPA official in the Obama administration. He holds the Gauthier-St. Martin Eminent Scholar Chair in Environmental Law at  Loyola University New Orleans. Professor Verchick is also a Senior Fellow in Disaster Resilience at Tulane University and the President of the Center for Progressive Reform, a think tank focused on public health and the environment.

Verchick has written more than 60 articles and four books, including the award-winning, Facing Catastrophe: Environmental Action for a Post-Katrina World (Harvard University Press 2010). His work has appeared in many venues, including the California Law Review, the Southern California Law Review, and the environmental law reviews at Harvard, Stanford, and Berkeley.

He has taught as a visiting professor at Yale University, Peking University, and Aarhus University in Denmark. He has received several teaching awards, including at Loyola, Tulane, and Harvard. 

Verchick comments frequently on radio shows such as NPR’s All Things Considered and has written commentary for the Los Angeles Times, the Miami Herald, Slate, and other publications. A popular speaker, he has addressed audiences throughout the country and on nearly every continent.  His interview-style podcast, CPR’s Connect the Dots, is in its third season.

In 2009 and 2010, Professor Verchick served in the Obama administration as Deputy Associate Administrator for Policy at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. In that role he helped develop climate change adaptation policy for the EPA and served on President Obama's Interagency Climate Change Adaptation Task Force. 

Verchick, who grew up in the sun-scorched Las Vegas desert and survived Hurricane Katrina as a resident of New Orleans, has spent a career studying environmental resilience across the country. Committed to “place-based” analysis, he has paddled swamps, scaled glaciers, and dived among endangered corals, all to understand what is at stake and how we can protect the things we need—and love.

Verchick graduated with distinction and honors from Stanford University and with honors from Harvard Law School.