Kim Smaczniak


Kim Smaczniak is a Clean Energy staff attorney with the public interest environmental law firm Earthjustice, where she leads its legal advocacy to ensure a fair playing field for clean energy in federally-regulated electricity markets. In addition to her work at Earthjustice, Kim is an adjunct professor, teaching a Clean Air Act course at University of Maryland Law School and a course on federal policymaking for Carnegie Mellon University’s D.C. semester abroad program. Kim is a member of the Green Growth Knowledge Platform Research Committee on Green Growth and the Law, contributing to a study of the ways rule of law creates an enabling environment for green growth. She is also the former chair of the American Bar Association’s (ABA) International Environmental Law Committee, and currently chairs that Committee’s rule of law initiatives. Most recently, Kim successfully led an initiative to adopt a new ABA policy urging all countries to ban lead paint, and is helping to coordinate ABA efforts to implement the new policy.

Under the Obama Administration, Kim served as lead mitigation negotiator for the U.S. Department of State climate negotiations team, shaping strategies to ensure rapid implementation of the Paris Agreement and deepen U.S. engagement in support of climate mitigation. Prior to joining the State Department, Kim served as counsel at the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee, providing legal advice and supporting federal oversight relating to a variety of environmental laws, and as a Trial Attorney with the United States Department of Justice Environmental and Natural Resource Division. At the U.S. Department of Justice, Kim had a diverse practice litigating on behalf of federal agencies under federal environmental laws, including defending EPA greenhouse gas rules in the D.C. Circuit. Kim was nominated for her work at the Department of Justice for the John Marshall Award, DoJ’s highest awards offered to attorneys.

Kim received her J.D from Harvard Law School, a Masters of Public Policy from the Harvard Kennedy School of Government, and additionally studied international law at the Graduate Institute of International Studies in Geneva, Switzerland.

Fellow Activity

Fellow at a Glance

Fellowship Year:
Academic Background:
Harvard University - JFK School of Government/ Harvard Law School, JD/MPP
Current Position:
Staff Attorney; clean energy
Environmental Policy & Law
Currently Working On:
federal regulation of wholesale electricity markets; fighting for a level playing field for clean energy in electricity markets

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