Section of Environment, Energy, and Resources

Member Spotlight

Meet our members! Check this page each month to read about some of SEER's most involved members.

Florencia Heredia 

Florencia Heredia is a senior partner of Allende & Brea in Argentina.

Florencia Heredia is a senior partner of Allende & Brea in Argentina.

Florencia Heredia is a senior partner of Allende & Brea in Argentina, where she heads the natural resources and energy practice. She is an expert in natural resources matters, including forestry, fisheries, and mining law. Florencia has nearly 30 years of experience advising financing institutions and companies in complex mining and energy transactions in Argentina.

She obtained her law degree with honors (summa cum laude) from Universidad Católica Argentina in 1991 and obtained a master’s degree (summa cum laude) on business law from Universidad Austral in 1995. In addition, she has a degree with honors (summa cum laude) on corporate sustainability from the Instituto de Estudios para la Sustentabilidad Corporativa. She has also served as a researcher in the doctorate program of Universidad Austral on the areas of natural resources and environmental law.

Florencia has been consistently nominated as a leading mining lawyer by Chambers and Partners, Legal 500, etc. and has been included in lists of main mining lawyers of the world by Who’s Who Editions during the last twenty years – in addition to being one of the highlighted women in the Women in Law reviews.

Florencia is actively involved in SEER and serves as a member of the SEER Equity and Inclusion Task Force, contributing her international views. She is also an active member of the International Bar Association, where she previously chaired the Mining Law Committee. 

Megan McLean

Megan McLean is a senior associate in Husch Blackwell LLP’s environmental group in St. Louis.

Megan McLean is a senior associate in Husch Blackwell LLP’s environmental group in St. Louis.

Megan McLean is a senior associate in Husch Blackwell LLP’s environmental group in St. Louis, Missouri. Megan focuses on providing practical advice to a diverse range of clients to ensure environmental, health, and safety regulatory compliance with federal and state environmental laws and regulations. In her practice, Megan provides counsel and advice on complex regulatory issues and actively defends clients against regulatory enforcement actions when necessary.

Megan is actively involved in SEER. She currently serves as the Co-Chair of the Water Resources Committee and has contributed to numerous Section publications in recent years. 

Megan earned her J.D. from Vanderbilt Law School and she holds a B.A., with honors, from Washington University in St. Louis. Outside of the office, Megan coaches a running club, explores local parks with her Bernese mountain dog, and struggles to keep up with her over-zealous book club. She also spent much of the pandemic attempting to perfect her homemade ice cream recipe.  

Almira Moronne

Almira Moronne is a senior associate at Davis Graham & Stubbs LLP in Denver.

Almira Moronne is a senior associate at Davis Graham & Stubbs LLP in Denver.

Almira Moronne is a senior associate at Davis Graham & Stubbs LLP in Denver, Colorado. She assists mining companies with all stages of project development, as well as the investors and lenders that finance mining through traditional and non-traditional funding arrangements. She also represents clients across industries navigating the national security screening process under the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS).

Prior to joining Davis Graham & Stubbs LLP, Almira worked as a foreign legal advisor at AKSET law firm in Jakarta, Indonesia. There, she advised investors in mining, agriculture, infrastructure, financial services, and technology, including the first Indonesian “unicorn” companies. She also worked as a policy advisor to WWF-Indonesia, helping develop guidelines on land use and marine conservation. Her husband, who works in international development, took a job in 2015 for an organization that is headquartered in North America, so on Valentine’s Day 2016, they arrived in Denver with two suitcases and started a new life.

Almira serves as Co-Chair of the SEER Mining and Mineral Extraction Committee. In 2020, she and her Co-Chair, Kate Tipple, received the SEER Phoenix Committee Award for their resuscitation of the committee and development of a new speaker series, which has proved to be a useful model for other SEER committees.

Almira earned her J.D., with honors, from Duke University, and she holds a B.A., with honors, from the University of California, Berkeley.  

Lawrence Pittman

Lawrence Pittman is an Assistant Regional Counsel at the Environmental Protection Agency - Region 6.

Lawrence Pittman is an Assistant Regional Counsel at the Environmental Protection Agency - Region 6.

Lawrence Pittman is an Assistant Regional Counsel at the Environmental Protection Agency - Region 6, working in the Office of Regional Counsel RCRA & Toxics Enforcement Branch in Dallas, Texas. A Stone Mountain, Georgia native, Lawrence attended Lewis & Clark Law School in Portland, Oregon. During law school, Lawrence served as the Student Bar Association President and the Black Law Student Association Co-President. Barred in the State of Georgia in June 2019, Lawrence gained experience at Earth & Water Law Group and the City of Atlanta – Office of the Public Defender. In Atlanta he was involved in the City of Atlanta - Sustainability Ambassador Program, the EPA Region 4 - Environmental Justice Academy, and the Young Alumni Council at his alma mater, Georgia State. 

Lawrence is currently a member of the ABA Young Lawyers Division Scholars Program and the SEER Membership Diversity Enhancement Program. Through his involvement in these programs, he has organized a “What Do Lawyers Do” panel at his former high school, Stephenson High School, helped co-author part of the forthcoming SEER publication, Year In Review 2020, and is working on other programming ideas. Lawrence enjoys hiking, biking, fishing, running, and anything that requires a bit of adventure.

Achinthi Vithanage 

Achinthi Vithanage is the Randolph C. Shaw Graduate Fellow in Administrative Law and Adjunct Professor at the George Washington University Law School.

Achinthi Vithanage is the Randolph C. Shaw Graduate Fellow in Administrative Law and Adjunct Professor at the George Washington University Law School.

Achinthi Vithanage is the Randolph C. Shaw Graduate Fellow in Administrative Law and Adjunct Professor at the George Washington University Law School, where she teaches International Environmental Law. Previously, she was a Visiting Associate Professor and the Environmental & Energy Law Fellow. She was admitted to the New South Wales (NSW) Supreme Court in 2012, and practiced corporate law in Australia for five years. She also worked for the UN Sri Lankan Mission, the Pace Environmental Law Program, and the NSW Energy & Water Ombudsman.

In 2018, Achinthi was selected to participate in the SEER Leadership Development Program, which led her to become more involved in SEER. While participating in the program, she delivered an outstanding project on environmental law student society engagement. As a result, she was recently appointed to serve as Co-Chair of the SEER Environmental Law Societies Task Force. She is also Co-Chair of the SEER International Environmental and Resources Law Committee and serves on the SEER International Bar Coordination Task Force.  

Achinthi graduated from the University of NSW with a combined degree in Law and International Studies. She graduated summa cum laude with an L.L.M. from Pace Law and is presently undertaking an S.J.D. at GW Law. In her spare time, she plays volleyball, completes jigsaws, and hones her dancing skills. She has performed traditional Sri Lankan dancing professionally and dabbles in hip hop dance.  

Pete Keays 

Pete Keays is an associate in the Environmental Law practice group at Hangley, Aronchick, Segal, Pudlin & Schiller in Philadelphia.

Pete Keays is an associate in the Environmental Law practice group at Hangley, Aronchick, Segal, Pudlin & Schiller in Philadelphia.

Pete Keays is an associate in the Environmental Law practice group at Hangley, Aronchick, Segal, Pudlin & Schiller in Philadelphia. Although Pete’s practice involves a wide range of matters related to various federal and state environmental laws, he is a Superfund nerd at heart. As such, he maintains a particular focus on all things contaminated. This includes counseling clients on site remediation, enforcement and compliance matters, and Brownfield transactions, as well as pursuing and defending against CERCLA claims at sites throughout the country.

Pete is a member of the SEER Leadership Development Program and multiple committees. He has contributed to Section publications, and previously served on the Section’s WOTUS working group.

Pete graduated from Bates College and Vermont Law School. Prior to entering private practice, he served as a law clerk to federal judges in Montana and on the Second Circuit. He currently lives with his family in Bucks County, Pennsylvania. In his spare time, Pete enjoys fly fishing and virtually any other excuse to be outside. 

Denise Fellers

Denise Fellers is an attorney at Morgan, Lewis & Bockius in Los Angeles.

Denise Fellers is an attorney at Morgan, Lewis & Bockius in Los Angeles.

Denise Fellers is an attorney at Morgan, Lewis & Bockius in Los Angeles. She focuses her practice on environmental litigation with specific expertise in leading contamination cases involving cost recovery. She regularly navigates the intricacies of a variety of state and federal environmental laws, such as RCRA and CERCLA, and the California state analogs, such as HSAA, and common law nuisance and trespass. Her practice includes both advice and counsel on complex regulatory issues, litigating environmental matters on both the plaintiff side (such as cost recovery and contribution claims) and the defense side (defending environmental and common law claims), and compliance matters.

Denise began serving as Programs Vice Chair on the SEER Environmental Ligation and Toxic Torts Committee in 2018, then she expanded her involvement in SEER to include serving as Membership Vice Chair on the Superfund and Natural Resource Damages Litigation Committee in 2019. This year she serves as Membership Vice Chair on the Superfund and Natural Resource Damages Litigation Committee and is the Co-Chair of the Environmental Ligation and Toxic Torts Committee.

Denise graduated from UCLA, where she received a B.A. in Communication Studies and received her J.D. from the UCLA School of Law. She is an avid Bruin football and basketball fan. When she is not working, Denise enjoys rooting for the UCLA Bruins, spending time with her family, and cooking (during the pandemic her baguette baking skills have become top-notch).

Freedom S.N. Smith 

Freedom S.N. Smith is a partner in Ice Miller LLP’s Environmental Group in Indianapolis, IN

Freedom S.N. Smith is a partner in Ice Miller LLP’s Environmental Group in Indianapolis, IN

Freedom S.N. Smith is a partner in Ice Miller LLP’s Environmental Group. Based in Indianapolis, Indiana, Freedom focuses her practice on providing clients effective regulatory compliance and policy counseling, resolution of environmental liabilities identified in the course of transactions, and representation in environmental litigation matters. Freedom employs her expertise to advise clients on regulatory compliance, policy, environmental assessment processes, permitting, litigation, and enforcement matters. She routinely assists clients with risk management matters in the context of day to day operations, proposed project redevelopments, transactions, and legacy remedial liabilities at industrial sites. 

Freedom is actively involved with SEER and has served on the Pesticides, Chemical Regulation, and Right to Know Committee (PCRRTK) for the last several years. She currently serves as co-chair of PCRRTK. In addition, Freedom serves on the Board of Directors for Earth Day Indiana, the Board for Foster Success (an agency that focuses on services and advocacy for foster youth), and the Women’s Fund of Central Indiana’s Community Engagement Committee. When not closing deals, litigating cases, or advising clients, Freedom can be found reading a good book, hiking, and cooking.  

Nadia Ahmad

Nadia Ahmad is an Associate Professor at Barry University School of Law in Orlando, FL

Nadia Ahmad is an Associate Professor at Barry University School of Law in Orlando, FL

Nadia Ahmad is an Associate Professor at Barry University School of Law in Orlando, Florida. Professor Ahmad’s over 40 scholarly publications focus on the intersections of energy siting, the environment, and sustainable development. She is a co-author of the third edition of the textbook, “Environmental Justice: Law, Policy, and Regulation,” (Carolina Academic Press). She has presented her research on the law and policy of advanced biofuels in Abu Dhabi, Cairo, Cambridge, Doha, Denver, New York, and San Francisco. In 2016, she was recognized by the Orlando Business Journal as a 40 Under 40 honoree. In 2020, she was appointed to the Council of the ABA Section of Civil Rights and Social Justice (CRSJ), the Advisory Board of the ABA Center for Human Rights’ Dignity Rights Initiative, and The Florida Bar Journal/News Editorial Board. Earlier, she served as Co-Chair, Chair and Vice Chair of the ABA CRSJ Environmental Justice Committee, which was presented with the Sheila Y. Thomas Committee Excellence Award, and as a Vice Chair of the ABA SEER Superfund and Natural Resource Damages Litigation Committee. She lives in Central Florida with her husband and three children. She enjoys mountain climbing, long distance running, and wildlife photography.

Erik Baptist

Erik Baptist is a partner in Wiley Rein LLP’s Environment and Product Regulation Practice.

Erik Baptist is a partner in Wiley Rein LLP’s Environment and Product Regulation Practice.

Erik Baptist is a partner in Wiley Rein LLP’s Environment and Product Regulation Practice. Based in Washington, D.C., Erik’s practice centers on providing effective legal advocacy and policy counsel on environmental regulations and litigation involving chemicals, pesticides, air emissions, and hazardous waste. Erik is the former Deputy Assistant Administrator for Law and Policy in the Office of Chemical Safety and Pollution Prevention and the former Senior Deputy General Counsel in the Office of General Counsel at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

Erik employs his expertise in environment and safety issues – including the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA), the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA), the Clean Air Act (CAA), and the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (CERCLA) – to advise clients on regulatory compliance, policy, litigation, and enforcement matters. He is frequently asked to speak at conferences.

Erik began serving as Congressional Relations Vice Chair on the SEER Outreach Committee in 2019. He enjoys attending ABA events and meeting other environmental lawyers from across the world.

When he is not working, Erik enjoys spending time with his family, going for long runs while pushing his daughters in a double stroller, building wood furniture for his home, and baking Keto desserts.

Kelsea Raether 

Kelsea Raether is an Associate Attorney at Frye & Kelly, P.C. in Albuquerque, New Mexico.

Kelsea Raether is an Associate Attorney at Frye & Kelly, P.C. in Albuquerque, New Mexico.

Kelsea Raether is an Associate Attorney at Frye & Kelly, P.C., a boutique Indian law firm in Albuquerque, New Mexico. She provides legal counsel on a myriad of matters, but primarily focuses on litigation, business development and representation, and government affairs. She routinely assists tribal governments and tribal organizations with employment, healthcare, and corporate law matters. Kelsea is passionate about protecting and preserving cultural heritage, particularly in the context of natural disasters, and enjoys keeping up with the latest in that field of law.

Kelsea graduated from Michigan State University, where she received a B.A. in Anthropology and a Museum Studies Certificate. She is an avid Spartan football fan! Kelsea received her J.D. and Law and Indigenous Peoples Program Indian Law Certificate from the University of New Mexico School of Law. She is currently admitted to practice in New Mexico, the District of Columbia, and the Navajo Nation.

Kelsea serves as Vice Chair At-Large on the SEER Native American Resources Committee and enjoys assisting with the coordination of engagement opportunities for members. Her article titled, “Cultural Heritage: The Silent Victim of Disasters,” was published in the Winter 2020 issue of Natural Resources and Environment magazine. She is also President of the non-profit foundation that supports her stepson’s charter school. 

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