VLS Names New Dean

Front Page / Feb. 16, 2017 9:58am EST

McHenry Has History In Environmental Law

The Board of Trustees at Vermont Law School have chosen Thomas J.P. McHenry to be their next dean and president. McHenry, a partner at the Los Angeles-based environmental law firm Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher, will succeed current VLS President Marc Mihaly when his contract expires in July.

McHenry had previously been a faculty member of the VLS Summer Session, where he taught Environmental Business Transactions and Comparative U.S./France Land Use Law.

“Tom McHenry has a demonstrated commitment to environmental quality and stewardship,” said VLS Board Chair Christopher Dutton. “He has also dedicated himself to teaching at all levels even as he pursued his profession as an outstanding advocate and counselor. His enthusiasm and focus will aid Vermont Law School as we move forward from the outstanding leadership provided by Marc Mihaly,” he said.

“I congratulate Tom McHenry, a most excellent California environmental attorney, on his appointment as the next president and dean of Vermont Law School,” said Mihaly in a press release on Monday.

“I’ve known Tom for some time, and am certain that he will be an active and devoted asset to the school, continuing its spirit of innovation and its devotion to training leaders to make the world more sustainable and just,” he said.

President Mihaly had previously served as professor and associate dean for the VLS environmental program since 2004, before ascending to the president and dean’s office in August 2012. Citing personal reasons, Mihaly chose not to renew his contract in July but plans to return to a faculty teaching position in the school’s environmental program.

McHenry has provided legal counsel for the Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO) of the United Nations as well as for forestry, wildlife, and national parks in West Africa and the Caribbean.

In addition to serving in leadership roles with the Los Angeles Chamber of Commerce and the Wildlife Conservation Society, McHenry’s nonprofit and community service experience includes work with the Center for Large Landscape

Conservation, the Council on Watershed Health, National Forest Foundation, and the Connecticut Fund for the Environment.

Since earning a juris doctor degree at the New York University school of Law, McHenry has earned a master’s degree at the Yale School of Forestry & Environmental Studies where he now co-chairs the Environmental Leadership Council. He also serves as vice chair of the Roberts Environmental Center at Claremont McKenna College.

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