Chief Prosecuting Attorney for Riverkeeper; Professional journalist
Robert F. Kennedy Jr. is credited with leading the fight to protect New York City's water supply, but his reputation as a resolute defender of the environment stems from a litany of successful legal actions. The list includes winning numerous settlements for Riverkeeper, prosecuting governments and companies for polluting the Hudson River and Long Island Sound, arguing cases to expand citizen access to the shoreline, and suing treatment plants to force compliance with the Clean Water Act.
Mr. Kennedy acts as Chief Prosecuting Attorney for Riverkeeper. He also serves as Senior Attorney for the Natural Resources Defense Council and as President of the Waterkeeper Alliance. At Pace University School of Law, he is a Clinical Professor and Supervising Attorney at the Environmental Litigation Clinic in White Plains, New York. Earlier in his career Mr. Kennedy served as Assistant District Attorney in New York City.
The New York City watershed agreement, which he negotiated on behalf of environmentalists and the city's watershed consumers, is regarded as an international model in stakeholder consensus negotiations and sustainable development. He helped lead the fight to turn back the aggressive anti-environmental legislation during the 104th Congress.
Mr. Kennedy has worked on environmental issues across the Americas. He has assisted several indigenous tribes in Latin America and Canada in successfully negotiating treaties protecting traditional homelands.
Mr. Kennedy has published several books, including "The Riverkeepers" (1997) with John Cronin. His articles have appeared in The New York Times, Atlantic Monthly, The Wall Street Journal, Esquire, The Village Voice, The Boston Globe, The Washington Post, Pace Environmental Law Review, and other publications.
Mr. Kennedy is a graduate of Harvard University. He studied at the London School of Economics and received his law degree from the University of Virginia Law School. He also received a Masters Degree in Environmental Law from Pace University.
He is a licensed master falconer, and as often as possible he pursues a life-long enthusiasm for white-water paddling. He has organized and led several expeditions to Latin America, including first descents on three little known rivers in Peru, Columbia, and Venezuela.
David Kirby has been a professional journalist for over 15 years, and has written extensively for The New York Times for the past eight years. Kirby was a contracted writer with the weekly City Section at The Times, where he covered public health, local politics, art and culture, among other subjects. Kirby has also written for a number of national magazines. He was also a foreign correspondent in Mexico and Central America from 1986-1990, where he covered the wars in El Salvador and Nicaragua, and covered politics, corruption and natural disasters in Mexico. From Latin America, he reported for UPI, the San Francisco Examiner, Newsday, The Arizona Republic, Houston Chronicle and the NBC Radio Network.
Kirby has also worked in politics, medical research and public relations. He worked for New York City Council President Carol Bellamy as a special assistant for healthcare, cultural affairs and civil rights, followed by employment as chief scheduler to Manhattan Borough President David N. Dinkins. He also was a senior staff adviser to Dinkins’ successful 1989 run for Mayor of New York City. From 1990-1993, Kirby was Director of Public Information at the American Foundation for AIDS Research (AmFAR), where he acted as press spokesman for Chairwoman Elizabeth Taylor. He also ran his own public relations agency in New York from 1993 through 1996, with clients that included the National Cancer Institute, AmFAR, ABC, BBC, Fox Searchlight, Absolut Vodka, and others.