Innovative California Environmental Regulator Maureen Gorsen Joins Alston & Bird

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Former director of California's Department of Toxic Substances Control, Maureen Gorsen, has joined law firm Alston & Bird as a partner in the firm's Environmental and Land Development Practice.

Alston & Bird LLP named Maureen Gorsen, formerly the Director of California's Department of Toxic Substances Control (DTSC), as a partner in the firm's highly regarded Environmental and Land Development Practice.

During her tenure as director, Gorsen increased the DTSC's transparency and public responsiveness in permitting and brownfields cleanups, and oversaw the Green Chemistry Initiative - one of the most important environmental programs to be implemented in the next decade - through California's State Legislature. At Alston & Bird, she will work closely with the firm's key leaders in California and Washington, D.C. to further bolster its presence in Sacramento and nationally, while serving as a liaison with policymakers on critical environmental, climate change, energy and land development initiatives.

"With the new administration's sweeping policy changes and California's continued role in shaping the environmental landscape, new laws and regulations will be going into effect that will transform how our clients conduct business both on a state and federal level. Maureen's background will be instrumental in this realm," said Richard R. Hays, managing partner of Alston & Bird. "Furthermore, she will be a powerful force as we continue to develop our presence in Sacramento while strengthening Alston & Bird's foothold in the area of environmental law statewide and nationally."

The only environmental attorney in California to be appointed General Counsel at California's two environmental Cabinet Agencies, Gorsen has been a key player in most of California's environmental initiatives over the past 15 years. Appointed by Governor Pete Wilson as General Counsel of the California Resources Agency, Gorsen spearheaded the reform of the 1998 California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) guidelines and regulations related to the California Endangered Species Act, the Williamson Act and the Coastal Act. Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger appointed her as Deputy Secretary for Law Enforcement and General Counsel of the California Environmental Protection Agency in 2003, where she worked with district attorneys and law enforcement agencies to strengthen environmental enforcement and advised the Secretary during the negotiation of California's landmark climate change legislation, AB 32.

Gorsen will work in tandem with the firm's renowned climate change and carbon management attorneys throughout the country to address the rapidly moving issues associated with greenhouse gas emissions in the areas of project development, carbon finance and trading, legislative and regulatory advocacy, risk consultation and litigation. Alston & Bird's Climate Change and Carbon Management practice (http: has been ranked by Chambers Global as one of the top in the world.

According to Gorsen, "I am excited to be joining Alston & Bird. The firm is on the forefront of vital environmental issues, particularly in the area of climate change, and I look forward to adding my California background and experience to further Alston & Bird's position as a national environmental law leader."

Previously, Gorsen was a partner at Weston Benshoof Rochefort Rubalcava & MacCuish LLP, prior to its merger with Alston & Bird, and represented a number of the firm's marquee clients. Gorsen earned her J.D. from Georgetown University and holds an M.A. in international energy and environmental policy from Johns Hopkins University. She received a B.A. in economics from the University of Pennsylvania.

About Alston & Bird

With more than 900 attorneys, Alston & Bird is a leading national AmLaw 100 firm. The firm's core practice areas are intellectual property, complex litigation, corporate and tax, with national industry focuses in health care, energy, financial services, and public policy. The firm has built a reputation as one of the country's best employers, appearing on FORTUNE magazine's ranking of the "100 Best Companies to Work For" 10 years in a row, more often than any other law firm in the United States. The firm has offices in Atlanta, Charlotte, Dallas, Los Angeles, New York, Research Triangle Park, N.C., Silicon Valley, Ventura County, and Washington, D.C. For more information on Alston & Bird, please visit


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