WASHINGTON – Ignacia S. Moreno, Assistant Attorney General for the Justice Department’s Environment and Natural Resources Division (ENRD), today announced two new members of her senior leadership team.
Bruce S. Gelber has been appointed to serve as the career deputy assistant attorney general, overseeing the work of the division’s Environmental Enforcement Section (EES) and the Environmental Defense Section (EDS). EES is responsible for representing the United States in affirmative civil litigation under the federal pollution control and environmental protection statutes, including the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act, the Resource Conversation and Recovery Act, the Clean Air Act, the Clean Water Act, the Safe Drinking Water Act and the Oil Pollution Act. EDS represents the United States in complex civil litigation arising under a broad range of environmental statutes, including defending Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) regulations in federal court.
Prior to his appointment, Gelber served as chief of EES for 11 years, one of the largest litigating sections in the Department of Justice. In his role as EES chief, he has supervised some of the section’s most significant cases, including the Justice Department’s civil lawsuit arising from the explosion and sinking of the Deepwater Horizon oil platform in April 2010.
Gelber previously served as an assistant section chief for the litigation group responsible for the EPA Region 3 and 8 dockets. He also served as a senior lawyer in the Region 1 and 2 litigation group and as lead counsel for the government in the superfund litigation over the Love Canal landfill site. Prior to joining the Department of Justice in 1985, Gelber was general counsel of the National Committee Against Discrimination in Housing in Washington, D.C. Gelber received his B.A., summa cum laude, from Cornell University in 1972 and a J.D. from the Harvard Law School in 1975.
“Bruce brings years of outstanding management experience to this important position in the Division, where he has served as my trusted advisor,” said Assistant Attorney General Moreno. “We will continue to benefit from Bruce’s expertise in environmental laws and his leadership in service to the American people.”
Shirley Rivadeneira recently joined ENRD to serve as counsel to the assistant attorney general. In this position she will be responsible for advising the assistant attorney general on several initiatives, such as outreach to the U.S. Attorneys’ Offices, environmental justice, international environmental enforcement, human capital management and other special projects.
Rivadeneira brings to ENRD significant environmental, litigation, regulatory and management experience from both the public and private sectors. She recently worked at the White House, first as director of the Energy and Environment Team and later as director of the Domestic Team in the Presidential Personnel Office. In both roles, Rivadeneira supported the Departments of Justice, Health and Human Services, Energy, Interior, Agriculture, Education, Labor, Transportation, Housing and Urban Development, and the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, EPA, the Office of Personnel Management, the Council on Environmental Quality and the Office of Science Technology Policy. Prior to that, she was an appointee at the U.S. Department of Labor, serving as a special assistant to the assistant secretary for Administration and Management and as an attorney advisor in the Office of the Solicitor, where she worked on developing a grants framework for green jobs training programs.
Before joining the administration, Rivadeneira was a litigation associate at Alston & Bird LLP and Clifford Chance LLP, where she focused on complex commercial litigation, white collar defense, regulatory compliance, environmental law, international arbitration and human rights.
Rivadeneira holds a B.A., with highest honors, from Emory University, and a J.D./M.A. joint-degree from American University, Washington College of Law and the School of International Service. During law school, she was a symposium editor of the Administrative Law Review.
“I am pleased to welcome Shirley to the Department of Justice,” said Assistant Attorney General Moreno. “Her extensive experience in environmental and international law, complex litigation, and record of distinguished service to the Executive branch will serve the division and the American people well.”