Ethan Shenkman brings more than 16 years of government experience to bear on his wide-ranging environmental practice. He served for seven years as a political appointee in the Obama Administration, most recently as Deputy General Counsel at the US Environmental Protection Agency and, prior to that, as Deputy Assistant Attorney General at the US Department of Justice's Environment and Natural Resources Division. He previously served as a career attorney and litigator at DOJ for nine years.

During his post as Deputy General Counsel at the EPA, he oversaw the agency's legal and regulatory work across a wide range of issues. He was responsible for Clean Air Act regulations and litigation, cross-cutting administrative law issues, international environmental law, and Native American tribal affairs. He also provided counsel for numerous key administration initiatives related to greenhouse gas pollution and climate change, international environmental agreements, free trade agreements and investment treaties, and tribal treaty rights.

In his role at DOJ, he managed a broad spectrum of litigation and policy initiatives, including supervising the Appellate Section, which handles appellate and Supreme Court cases across environment and natural resources law, and the Indian Resources Section. Mr. Shenkman also provided legal advice to federal agencies on environment and natural resources matters, ranging from NEPA to infrastructure and energy development. He has argued dozens of precedent-setting cases and received numerous achievement awards for his service, including the John Marshall Award for new Attorney General prosecution policy regarding application of eagle protection laws to tribal members, and the Attorney General's Distinguished Service Award for leading the Everglades trial team.

Mr. Shenkman served as a law clerk to the Honorable Paul V. Niemeyer of the US Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit. Following his clerkship, he was selected as a Bristow Fellow at the Office of the Solicitor General. Mr. Shenkman received his law degree from the University of Virginia School of Law, where he was Editor-in-Chief of the Virginia Law Review.


Proposal Raises More Questions Than Answers About NEPA Future (pdf)
Environmental Law Institute (
CEQ Proposes Comprehensive Changes to NEPA Regulations
CEQ's Proposed Guidance on NEPA Climate Reviews Replaces Obama's (pdf)
Environmental Law Institute (
FERC in Limbo on Greenhouse Gas Reviews Despite Court's Mandates (pdf)
Environmental Law Institute (
Latest in Washington: RFS Reset
2019 Growth Energy Biofuels Summit, The Washington Court Hotel, Washington, D.C.


The Legal 500 US
Environment: Litigation (2018-2019)
Environment: Regulatory (2018-2019)
Environment: Arbitration (2018)
US Department of Justice John Marshall Award for Outstanding Achievement in Providing Legal Advice (2013)
Attorney General's Award for Distinguished Service in Litigation (2011)


  • JD, University of Virginia School of Law, 1994, Order of the Coif, Hardy Cross Dillard Scholar
  • BA, Yale University, 1989, summa cum laude, Phi Beta Kappa
  • District of Columbia
Government & Military Service
  • Deputy General Counsel, US Environmental Protection Agency
  • Deputy Assistant Attorney General, US Department of Justice, Environment and Natural Resources Division
  • Counsel to the Assistant Attorney General, US Department of Justice, Environment and Natural Resources Division
  • Honors Attorney, Appellate Section and Law & Policy Section, US Department of Justice, Environment and Natural Resources Division
  • Bristow Fellow, Office of the Solicitor General, US Department of Justice
  • US Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit, The Honorable Paul V. Niemeyer
  • Adjunct Professor of Environmental Law, Georgetown University Law Center

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