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Staff

Aaron Kleinbaum, Executive Director 
Aaron Kleinbaum is the Executive Director of the Eastern Environmental Law Center.  Aaron served as EELC’s Legal Director for over four years prior to his appointment as Executive Director. Aaron brings to the EELC his experience as an environmental, health/safety (EHS) & sustainability executive and lawyer with public agency, private law firm and corporate in-house experience. He is a licensed professional engineer and member of the bar in New Jersey, New York and the District Court of New Jersey. His career grew along with major shifts in public EHS policy from command and control regulation to sustainability and environmental justice concerns. Aaron attended the Rutgers Law School–Newark and participated in the Rutgers Environmental Law Clinic.  Aaron worked at the US Environmental Protection Agency in New York City, and the New Jersey Meadowlands Commission.  Also, Aaron’s private law practice covered a wide range of environmental issues including advice to public and private clients in litigation and other compliance and transactional matters.  Before joining EELC, Aaron served the Ingersoll Rand Company as the in-house environmental lawyer and over the years was given increasing responsibility to become the Vice President of EHS & Deputy General Counsel.

Jennifer Danis, Senior Staff Attorney
Jennifer Danis is the Senior Staff Attorney for EELC’s Energy Infrastructure program. Jennifer is working with the Rethink Energy NJ Campaign to advocate for sustainable energy choices in the region. Ms. Danis has experience with multi-disciplinary environmental campaigns, which include litigation, advocacy and grassroots coalition building. Previously, she was of counsel to Bradley M. Campbell, LLC, where she used legal and scientific tools to address toxic contaminants under the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act. Working as an attorney at the Natural Resources Defense Council on the New York/New Jersey Harbor Bight Project, Ms. Danis researched complex litigation strategies to address legacy pollution of regional waterways. She collaborated with toxicologists, ornithologists, herpetologists and other experts to guide the project’s litigation strategy and advocacy agenda — and successfully advocated for the preservation of 600 wetlands acres in the Hackensack Meadowlands. Her interest in environmental law started while clerking in the United States Department of Justice, Environment & Natural Resources Division, in the Indian Resources Section, where she researched and briefed various Native American legal issues. She worked on conflicts related to a Montana Water Compact governing the Fort Peck Reservation, as well as issues related to the Cherokee constitutional crisis.She also serves on the Conservation and Research Committee of the New Jersey Audubon Society.Ms. Danis began her law career as a litigator at Kirkland & Ellis in New York,where she worked on various commercial litigation matters, including intellectual property, securities fraud and contractual disputes. She is an alumna of the University of Pennsylvania, and graduated magna cum laude from Boston University School of Law.

Raghu Murthy, Senior Staff Attorney
Raghu Murthy is a Senior Staff Attorney with EELC. Raghu represents EELC’s nonprofit clients in a wide variety of New Jersey energy and environmental matters. Raghu began his career with the New Jersey Attorney General’s Environmental Protection Group. During his eight-year tenure, he represented the State in hundreds of cases of environmental enforcement litigation against polluters and regulated entities. He obtained judgments and settlements effecting cleanups of dozens of properties, and payments of more than five million dollars in penalties. As part of the state’s A901 Program, Raghu worked with a team of attorneys, investigators and staff overseeing the regulation, enforcement, and modernization of solid & hazardous waste utilities in New Jersey. Raghu graduated from Rutgers University, and then earned an M.S. from Northern Illinois University and a J.D. from the University of Michigan Law School.

Rachel Perten, Development Manager
Rachel joined EELC in July , 2017 with over 10 years of experience in non-profit administration and fundraising. Her work has focused on building and sustaining annual giving programs and using special events as a tool to showcase organizations and maintain strong relationships with donors. Her work has resulted in raising millions of dollars for some of New York’s most vulnerable communities. Rachel holds an MPA from NYU’s Wager Graduate School of Public Service and has dedicated her professional life to making the world a more beautiful place.

Amy Koehler, Office Manager/Legal Assistant
Amy Koehler joined EELC in July 2016 as the Office Manager/Legal Assistant. Amy has a background in non-profit work as well as journalism, having worked at CNN for more than 20 years in both Washington, DC and Atlanta, GA.  As an assignment editor and producer, Amy traveled extensively, domestically and internationally, often as part of the White House press corps during the Reagan administration. Amy is a graduate of the University of Maryland.