Richard B. Stewart

Prof. Richard B. Stewart

University Professor; John Edward Sexton Professor of Law; Director, Frank J. Guarini Center on Environmental, Energy, and Land Use Law, New York University School of Law

Recognized as one of the world's leading scholars in environmental and administrative law, Richard Stewart is University Professor and John Edward Sexton Professor of Law at New York University School of Law. Prior to joining the NYU School of Law faculty, Stewart had served as a Byrne Professor of Administrative Law at Harvard Law School and a member of the faculty of the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard; Assistant Attorney General in charge of the Environment and Natural Resource Division of the U.S. Department of Justice, and Chairman of the Environmental Defense Fund.

Professor Stewart directs the school's Frank J. Guarini Center on Environmental and Land Use Law, which sponsors research, conferences, and publications on cutting-edge issues of environmental and land use law. Students are closely involved in the Center's activities, many of which focus on international and comparative environmental law issues, with a focus on climate law, policy and finance. His climate research and policy work includes how climate mitigation and adaptation can be promoted through sustainable cities policies and measures, and how private and public climate finance for developing countries can promote climate-sustainable urban development.

Stewart is also closely involved in the efforts of the U.S. government to solve the nation’s nuclear waste management and disposal problems. Stewart, along with NYU Professor Benedict Kingsbury, co-directs a major project on Global Administrative Law, examining how procedural opportunities for public participation in administrative decision making and review mechanisms can help meet accountability gaps in current global regulatory institutions, ranging from the WTO and the UN to informal networks of environmental and economic regulatory officials. This project, headquartered at NYU, is proceeding in collaboration with academics and officials around the globe, has produced an extensive body of research and publications aimed at developing strategies for strengthening the accountability and responsiveness of global regulatory bodies. The project includes substantial work on climate and other global environmental issues.

Stewart has worked with the Environmental Protection Committee of China’s National People’s Congress to strengthen China’s environmental laws. He has also been involved, with UN agencies and NGOs, in the development of domestic and international emissions trading systems to control greenhouse gases. He and colleagues have published a major book on Climate Finance, and held an international conference and series of workshops on climate finance in Abu Dhabi under the auspices of the NYU Abu Dhabi Institute. The Center has also conducted environmental legal assistance projects for developing countries and countries with economies in transition including issues of urbanization. Students are extensively involved in these projects.

A prolific author, Stewart has published ten books and more than 100 articles on environmental and administrative law, including the intersection between theory and practice in environmental law and the need to develop innovative methods for environmental protection. His writing favors a reliance on a market-oriented approach to environmental protection, rather than the central-planning systems of command and control regulation that have been used for the past 30 years. He has been a visiting professor at the Universities of Bologna, Chicago, and Rome, the University of California at Berkeley, the European University Institute, Yale University and Georgetown University. He is a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and the American Law Institute, a Director of the Health Effects Institute, and a member of the editorial boards of several European scholarly journals. He holds honorary degrees from The University of Rome "La Sapienza” and the Erasmus University in the Netherlands.


A person listed as a contributor has spoken or otherwise participated in Federalist Society events, publications, or multimedia presentations. A person's appearance on this list does not imply any other endorsement or relationship between the person and the Federalist Society. In most cases, the biographical information on a person's "contributor" page is provided directly by the person, and the Federalist Society does not edit or otherwise endorse that information. The Federalist Society takes no position on particular legal or public policy issues. All expressions of opinion by a contributor are those of the contributor.