UNM Law School professor Cliff Villa was invited by the administration of President Joe Biden to serve as a political appointee to the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). As a senior adviser to the EPA’s Office of Land and Emergency Management, Villa’s expertise will come into play around the use of federal resources, including funding for the bipartisan Infrastructure Act, which aims to support the administration’s priorities to address climate change and promote environmental justice.
As a faculty member with the UNM School of Law, Villa has given seminars on environmental justice and has published widely in the field, including as lead author of the book Environmental Justice: Law, Policy & Regulation, used by law schools across the country. Villa also pursued environmental justice directly by working as a supervising attorney in the law school’s natural resources and environmental law clinic section.
“We are so proud of Professor Villa and this wonderful recognition of his knowledge and talents. The appointment of Professor Villa testifies to the excellence of our faculty and our Natural Resources and Environmental Law Programsaid Dean Camille Carey of UNM Law School.
Prior to joining law school in 2015, Villa served over twenty years as an attorney for the EPA, based in various regional offices, and began his legal career at EPA Headquarters in Washington, DC.
“Cliff will be missed while he’s gone, but his position at the EPA is great news for him and for the agency,” said Reed Benson, director of UNM’s natural resources and environmental law program. . “This appointment will allow him to help communities and promote environmental justice across the country.”
Villa plans to start his appointment on August 29.