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About Robert R.M. Verchick

Rob Verchick is one of the nation’s leading scholars in disaster and climate change law and a former EPA official in the Obama administration. He holds the Gauthier-St. Martin Eminent Scholar Chair in Environmental Law at  Loyola University New Orleans. Professor Verchick is also a Senior Fellow in Disaster Resilience at Tulane University and the President of the Center for Progressive Reform, a research and advocacy organization that advocates for solutions to our most pressing societal challenges. 

Verchick has written more than 60 articles and four books, including the award-winning, Facing Catastrophe: Environmental Action for a Post-Katrina World (Harvard University Press 2010). His work has appeared in many venues, including the California Law Review, the Southern California Law Review, and the environmental law reviews at Harvard, Stanford, and Berkeley.

He has taught as a visiting professor at Yale University, Peking University, and Aarhus University in Denmark. He has received several teaching awards, including at Loyola, Tulane, and Harvard. 

Verchick comments frequently on radio shows such as NPR’s All Things Considered and has written commentary for the Washington Post, the Los Angeles Times, Slate, and other publications. A popular speaker, he has addressed audiences throughout the country and on nearly every continent.  His documentary-style podcast, CPR’s Connect the Dots, is in its sixth season.

In 2009 and 2010, Professor Verchick served in the Obama administration as Deputy Associate Administrator for Policy at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. In that role he helped develop climate change adaptation policy for the EPA and served on President Obama's Interagency Climate Change Adaptation Task Force. 

Verchick, who grew up in the sun-scorched Las Vegas desert and survived Hurricane Katrina as a resident of New Orleans, has spent a career studying environmental resilience across the country. Committed to “place-based” analysis, he has paddled swamps, scaled glaciers, and dived among endangered corals, all to understand what is at stake and how we can protect the things we need—and love.

Verchick graduated with distinction and honors from Stanford University and with honors from Harvard Law School. His new book, The Octopus in the Parking Garage: A Call for Climate Resilience, intended for a general audience, will be available in Spring 2023. Visit his website at


Present Gauthier-St. Martin Chair in Environmental Law, Loyola University New Orleans
Present Senior Fellow in Disaster Resilience Leadership, Tulane University

Curriculum Vitae

Research Interests

Climate Change Adaptation, Disaster Law and Policy, Administrative Law, Environmental Law, Natural Resources Law

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Honors and Awards

  • Fulbright-Nehru Environmental Leadership Award (Council for International Exchange of Scholars), supporting research on climate change adaptation policy in India (Fall 2012)


  • Energy Law
  • Property Law
  • Disaster and the Environment
  • Disaster Law and Policy
  • Environmental Justice
  • Natural Resources Law
  • Environmental Law


1986 - 1989 J.D. cum laude, Harvard University ‐ Law School
1982 - 1986 A.B. with distinction and honors, Stanford University ‐ English

Contact Information

Loyola University New Orleans
College of Law
526 Pine Street, Room 415
New Orleans, LA 70118 USA

Journal Publications (37)

Contributions to Books (16)