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How do I nominate someone for this award?

Please visit to submit a nomination. Nominations are due by May 31.

Who is eligible for this award?

Eligible individuals who may be nominated include currently serving, or recently retired, career attorneys for federal, state, tribal, or local governmental entities within the United States. Nominated practitioners must also be in good standing with the attorney licensing authority in the jurisdiction in which they practice.

Individuals who have been Section Council members, officers, or ABA staff within two years of the year of nomination and their immediate families and household members, are not eligible to receive the Award. Self-nominations are not accepted. Individuals must be at least 18 years old at the time of nomination.

What is the award process?

Nominations will be made through an online survey system. You will provide brief information about your nominee. The Section's awards committee will review your nomination and let you know if they need additinal information. Once the nomination period closes, the Awards Committee will review all nominations and make a recommendation to the Section's Council for its final approval. You will be notified either way if your nominee was selected.

When are the awards bestowed?

This award is bestowed in the fall each year.

Past Recipients


William Brighton, Assistant Chief, Environmental Enforcement Section, U.S. Department of Justice


Kevin Bromberg, former Assistant Chief Counsel for Environmental Policy, Office of Advocacy, U.S. Small Business Administration

Nancy B. Firestone, Judge, United States Court of Federal Claims and former Associate Deputy Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency (1989-1992)


Harvey C. Sweitzer, Supervisory Administrative Law Judge, Departmental Cases Hearings Division, Office of Hearings and Appeals, United States Department of the Interior


Jim Shore, General Counsel, Seminole Tribe of Florida

Karen Wardzinski, Section Chief, Law and Policy, Environment and Natural Resources Division, U.S. Department of Justice


Barry Breen, Principal Deputy Assistant Administrator of the Office of Land and Emergency Management, U.S. EPA


Walter Mugdan, Deputy Regional Administrator, U.S. EPA Region 2 


John C. Cruden, Former Acting Assistant Attorney General, Environmental and Natural Resources Division; United States Department of Justice


James G. Van Ness, Senior Associate General Counsel (Environment, Energy & Installations), Office of General Counsel, U.S. Department of Defense


James Lofton, U.S. Department of Justice


Clive J. Strong, Chief of the Natural Resources Division of the Idaho Attorney General's Office, State of Idaho


Michael J. Myers, Assistant Attorney General, State of New York


Brenda Mallory, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency


Bruce Gelber, U.S. Department of Justice


Paul B. Smyth, U.S. Department of the Interior