Kelsey Skaggs is the co-founder and Executive Director of Climate Defense Project (CDP), a legal non-profit that provides support and strategy to the climate movement. CDP fills a gap in the legal landscape by representing front-line activists, developing legal strategies, and connecting attorneys with communities and campaigns.
Prior to attending Harvard Law School, she coordinated a program bringing legal services to survivors of gender-based violence in Alaska. She has worked on environmental issues at Crag Law Center in Oregon, on international environmental policy at Universal Rights Group in Geneva, and in defense of free speech activists at Media Legal Defence Initiative in London.
Her activities during law school included serving as President of the Harvard Law School Forum, co-President of the Harvard Environmental Law Society, and President of Harvard Law Students for Sustainable Investment. She also worked on freedom of expression issues at the Berkman Center for Internet & Society. Her article on the First Amendment implications of government surveillance programs won the national Constance Baker Motley writing competition and was published in the University of Pennsylvania Journal of Constitutional Law. As a second-year law student, with her Climate Defense Project co-founders, she launched Harvard Climate Justice Coalition v. Harvard: the first lawsuit to compel institutional fossil fuel divestment.
Her awards include the Harvard Law School Public Interest Fund Seed Grant, an Echoing Green Climate Fellowship, a Straubel Leadership Award, and a place on Forbes’ 30 Under 30 list.
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