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People on the Move

James R Arnold


  • Discusses the promotions and job changes of SEER leaders and members.
  • Shares the accomplishments of SEER leaders and members.
People on the Move
Alberto Menendez Cervero via Getty Images

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John C. Cruden, principal at Beveridge & Diamond, P.C., received The Robinson O. Everett Distinguished Life Service Award at the Judge Advocates Association’s annual awards dinner on September 15, 2022. Cruden’s long and distinguished career began after graduating from West Point and serving in airborne, ranger, and special forces units in Germany and Vietnam, before transferring after law school to the Army JAG Corps, achieving the rank of colonel, with assignments as general counsel of the Defense Nuclear Agency, staff judge advocate in Germany, and chief legislative counsel of the Army. Following this distinguished military career, he joined the U.S. Department of Justice, Environment and Natural Resources Division, where he rose from chief of enforcement to assistant attorney general. While serving as the assistant attorney general, Cruden personally led the negotiations in both the BP/Deepwater Horizon oil spill and the Volkswagen emission defeat devices cases. He continues to teach a masters class as an adjunct professor at George Washington University. Commenting on his award, he stated: “I am honored to receive this important award and join such an impressive group of prior recipients who served their country so admirably.” Cruden has long been active in the Section, including serving as chair in 2009–2010. He is also currently a member of the ABA Board of Governors.

Lena Golze Desmond has joined Metergy Solutions as senior regulatory counsel in its New York, New York, office. Formerly, Desmond was at David Energy as its regulatory counsel. Desmond is an experienced environmental and energy law attorney, focusing on renewable and distributed energy markets. At Metergy Solutions, she will lead the company’s regulatory and contract compliance efforts in the United States. Desmond serves as the co-chair of the Section’s Energy Transition Conference.

Peter Gioello has joined Arnold & Porter Kaye Scholer LLP as counsel, in the firm’s New York, New York, office. Formerly, Gioello was with Cahill Gordon & Reindel LLP as a senior attorney. Gioello has significant experience in both environmental, social, and governance (ESG) issues and environmental, health, and safety (EHS) issues, including in complex corporate transactions. His diverse practice includes advising clients on sustainability reporting and disclosure, ESG due diligence, environmental justice, climate change mitigation, and adaptation and consumer safety. Gioello is known for his “commercial and market-savvy” environmental transaction advice, and risk/liability evaluations on behalf of clients across a variety of industries. He currently is secretary of the Section; vice chair, Special Committee on Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Belonging; and on the planning committee for the Environmental Summit of the Americas (2023, New York).

Jesse T. Nation has joined McGuireWoods LLP as a renewable energy attorney in its Houston, Texas, office. Formerly, Nation was with Kruger Carlson PLLC, also in San Antonio. His legal practice focuses on real estate and project development. He collaborates with developers, utilities, and project sponsors to facilitate the development, acquisition, and sale of energy infrastructure projects, including those in the renewable and conventional power energy sectors. Nation serves as the co-chair of the Section’s Renewable, Alternative, and Distributed Energy Resources Committee.

Austin Pierce has joined Latham & Watkins as an associate attorney in the firm’s Houston, Texas, office. Formerly, Pierce was an environmental and natural resources associate attorney at another law firm in Houston. His practice focuses on helping public and private companies, funds, and their boards navigate their ESG matters—including climate change, biodiversity and natural capital, human rights, Indigenous rights, and corporate culture. Pierce regularly presents and publishes thought leadership on many topics related to sustainability and ESG, including their interplay with other sectors, such as maritime law and energy law and policy. Pierce serves as a vice chair of the Section’s Native American Resources Committee.

Paige Samblanet has joined Brownstein Hyatt Farber Schreck, LLP as an associate attorney in its Los Angeles, California, office. Formerly, Samblanet was with The Sohagi Law Group, PLC in Brentwood, California. She uses her environmental science background to add depth to her natural resources practice and provide strategic legal advice to clients. As a passionate environmental justice advocate, she has particular experience in the clean energy, water law, and land use law sectors. Samblanet is a vice chair of the Section’s Water Quality and Wetlands Law Committee.