Board of Directors

Board of Directors

Anuradha Mittal

Anuradha Mittal is the founder and Executive Director of the Oakland Institute, an independent policy think tank that brings fresh ideas and bold action to the most pressing social, economic, and environmental issues of our time. An internationally renowned expert on development, human rights, and agriculture issues, Anuradha has authored and edited numerous books, reports, and articles in leading publications; given hundreds of keynote addresses; and been interviewed by dozens of media sources. Anuradha also serves on the boards of the ActionAid USA and the Blue Planet Project, and is the Chair of the Independent Board of Ben & Jerry’s.

Conniel Malek

Conniel Malek is the Executive Director of True Costs Initiative (TCI), which seeks to increase corporate accountability and strengthen legal systems in the Global South by driving collaboration among communities, funders, and creative leaders in an effort to tip the balance so corporations are held accountable for and internalize the true environmental and human costs of their actions. She is a proud daughter of the Caribbean and particularly committed to advocating for the rights of those in often overlooked parts of the world and to grooming the next generation of human rights lawyers and advocates. Conniel is also a Board Member of EDGE Funders Alliance and serves on advisory boards of groups that work to ensure human and environmental rights accountability of economic actors. Prior to TCI, Conniel practiced corporate law at a multinational corporation. She is a graduate of the University of Virginia School of Law and Cornell University.

Durwood Zaelke

Durwood Zaelke is the founder and President of the Institute for Governance & Sustainable Development (IGSD), which works to promote just and sustainable societies and to protect the environment by advancing the understanding, development, and implementation of effective, and accountable systems of governance for sustainable development. Prior to IGSD, Durwood co-founded and was President of the Center for International Environmental Law (CIEL); served as the Director of the Secretariat for the International Network for Environmental Compliance & Enforcement; and was a partner at an international law firm. He has taught at various law schools and is the author of the leading textbook on international environmental law.

Lewis Gordon

Lewis Gordon is the founder and former Executive Director of EDLC. Prior to starting EDLC in 2003, Lewis successfully defended environmentalists and environmental organizations from intimidation lawsuits, and represented them in environmental litigation as well. From 1989-94, Lewis served on the plaintiffs’ steering committee that managed the massive litigation arising from the grounding of the Exxon Valdez. Lewis has been invited to every continent to speak on human rights and corporate accountability issues before legal groups, NGOs, and foundations. See also staff biography.

Maxime Beaugrand

Maxime Beaugrand is Director of the Paris Office at the Institute for Governance and Sustainable Development (IGSD). Maxime joined IGSD in 2007 and has been focusing on international and French/EU climate strategy, policy and advocacy for near-term climate mitigation. She has also led IGSD’s international litigation portfolio since 2020. Previously, she worked for several years in a commercial law firm in Paris and later on, as a fundraiser for several environmental campaign groups and organizations in the UK. Maxime holds an LL.M. degree from Harvard Law School, an LL.B. and LL.M. from Panthéon Sorbonne Paris II Assas. She is a native French speaker and is fluent in English.

Fernanda Venzon

Fernanda VenzonFernanda Venzon was appointed as Executive Director of EDLC in 2024. She has long served the organization, having joined EDLC as a consultant in 2009 and becoming a full-time staff attorney in 2011. Fernanda has over two decades of experience in the defense of the rights of Indigenous peoples and local communities affected by large resource development projects such as roads, dams, mines, and thermoelectric plants. She has collaborated with lawyers from many countries, including in transnational litigation and in climate cases. Prior to joining EDLC, Fernanda was the Executive Director of a Mexican and American NGO where she managed a team of ten staff and was responsible for fundraising as well as for the legal strategy. Fernanda holds advanced degrees from Brazil and the United Kingdom in international law, environmental management, and development management. She is fluent in English, Spanish, and French as well as her native Portuguese. Fernanda also serves on the boards of Accountability Counsel and the Institute of Amazonian Studies. See also staff biography.