Ira Feldman is a US-based sustainability leader with an interdisciplinary skill set and a global reach. He has over 25 years experience as an attorney and consultant focusing on environmental regulatory innovation (e.g., alternatives to “command and control” regulation), strategic environmental management, sustainable business practices and corporate social responsibility. Ira’s substantive work has explored the role of ESG (environment-social-governance) factors in the financial sector; the implications of “soft law” or “private law” – especially international voluntary standards — for business and government; the use of Public-Private Partnerships (PPP) to advance sustainable development and resilience; and, the potential for “blockchain” technology to advance climate adaptation solutions and mobilize finance.

Ira is at the leading edge of the convergence of sustainability, climate adaptation and ecosystem services. He teaches these topics at the City University of New York (CUNY) in the Sustainability in the Urban Environment program; at Fordham University in the Gabelli School of Business; and at George Mason University in Environmental Science & Policy.  To advance the state of play in sustainability in higher education, Ira founded the not-for-profit Sustainability Curriculum Consortium (SCC) in 2015 and continues to serve as its Managing Director.

In the climate adaptation space, Ira co-chaired the Policy Committee of the American Society of Adaptation Professionals (ASAP), the professional society for climate adaptation and resilience; served as the climate adaptation lead for the Greenhouse Gas Management Institute (GHGMI) and, in the international ISO process (TC207 SC7), he chaired the Adaptation Task Force (ATF), which developed the roadmap for a suite of climate adaptation standards.  Ira’s leadership and work in the climate adaptation community of practice also includes: developing and delivering the graduate-level climate adaptation course at Penn; establishing the “Climate Adaptation Scholars” ™ group on LinkedIn (currently with over 2900 members in 160 countries), transitioning the group (now known as CAPPS ™) to the Collaborase platform, and curating its over 80 substantive discussion threads; writing and editing the e-textbook, The Challenge of Climate Adaptation, for Trunity Publishing; serving on the Adaptation Working Group of the State of Maryland’s Climate Commission and advising on adaptation planning processes in Florida and Alaska; and, introducing climate adaptation to the practicing legal community in the US through his leadership role in the American Bar Association (ABA).

A past chair of the ABA-SEER Climate Change, Sustainable Development & Ecosystems Committee, Ira also served on the ABA President’s Task Force on Sustainable Development in 2013-15.  Reflecting the depth and breadth of his expertise, Ira has served on the advisory boards of such diverse organizations as the Center for International Environmental Law (CIEL); the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education (AASHE); the Sustainability Accounting Advisory Board (SASB); and the International Society of Sustainability Professionals (ISSP). He has long played a leading role in defining future domestic policy directions through his participation in environmental management and sustainability policy initiatives such as the President’s Council on Sustainable Development (PCSD) and the Multi-state Working Group on Environmental Performance (MSWG).

As team leader or in partnership with other consultancies and law firms, Ira has assisted governmental entities, multilateral organizations, think tanks, corporate trade associations and SME’s, on a wide range of implementation, policy development, and training activities. He led in the development of corporate voluntary excellence programs, environmental performance tools and strategies, and international voluntary standards such as the ISO 14000 series, ISO 26000 and GRI. Previously, as Special Counsel at US EPA headquarters, he pioneered new enforcement settlement approaches; developed the Agency’s audit and self-disclosure policy; and was the architect of EPA’s first corporate voluntary excellence program.

Ira is committed to advancing sustainability thinking in the US through policy initiatives and electoral politics; bringing clarity and coherence to the emerging field of sustainability professionals; assisting colleges and universities with faculty and curriculum development for sustainability in higher education; and remaining an active contributor and innovator in the sustainability and climate dialogue.


B.A. (interdisciplinary environmental studies, University of Pennsylvania, 1979)

M.S. (interdisciplinary environmental studies, University of Pennsylvania. 1980)

J.D. (Columbia University School of Law, 1985)

Advanced Certificate (Risk Assessment and Environmental Toxicology, Johns Hopkins School of Public Health, 1995)

Advanced Certificate (Management of Public and Not-for-Profit Organizations, Georgetown University School of Public Policy, 2003)

Bar Admissions: New York State and District of Columbia


NovaSphere, Board member (May 2018 – present)

Adaptation Ledger, Co-founder and Principal (2016 – present)

Sustainability Curriculum Consortium (SCC), Founder and Managing Director (2016 – present)

Greentrack Strategies, president & senior counsel (1996 – present)

Capital Environmental, vice president (1995 – 96)

US Environmental Protection Agency, Special Counsel, Office of Enforcement and Compliance Assurance (OECA) (1990 – 95)

Skadden Arps, associate attorney (1987 – 89)

Kaye Scholer, associate attorney (1985 – 87)


Climate Adaptation Scholars ™ and CAPPS ™
Owner/Moderator LinkedIn and Collaborase Groups
January 2012 – present

Sustainability Lexicon Project ™
Founder & Director
May 2010 – present


George Mason University (Fairfax, VA)
Adjunct Faculty, Environmental Science & Policy (2018 – present)

  • Business and Sustainability
  • The Challenge of Climate Adaptation

City University of New York (New York , NY)
Adjunct professor, “Sustainability in the Urban Environment” Program (2015 – present)

  • Environmental Policymaking

Fordham University (New York, NY)
Adjunct Professor, Gabelli School of Business (2017 – present)

  • Foundations of Sustainable Business

University of Pennsylvania (Philadelphia, PA)
Lecturer, Masters in Environmental Studies (MES) (2002 – present)

  • Exploring Ecosystem Services
  • The Challenge of Climate Adaptation
  • Crossing Borders
  • Transboundary Issues in Environmental Law, Regulation and Management
  • Global Environmental Issues
  • Environmental Management: Law and Policy (Wharton School)

Vermont Law School (South Royalton, VT)
Lecturer, Center for Environmental Law (Fall 2013)

  • Introduction to Environmental Law

Washington College of Law, American University (Washington, DC)
Environmental Law Summer Institute (2004 – 2006)

  • Environmental Regulatory Innovation

Vytautus Magnus Law School (Kaunas, Lithuania)
Adjunct Professor, Michigan State Program in Transnational Law (2001-2002)

  • US, European Union and Lithuanian Environmental Law — a comparative approach


Environment and Sustainability Organizations

National Council for Science and the Environment (NCSE)
Senior Fellow for Sustainability Policy and Education, January 2017 – January 2019

International Society of Sustainability Professionals (ISSP)
Member, February 2009 – present
Board of Directors, April 2008 – August 2013
ISSP Management Team, August 2009 – May 2013.
Coordinator, Policy and Standards, October 2011 – May 2013

American Society of Adaptation Professionals (ASAP)
Member, April 2013 – Present
Policy Committee, Co-chair, January 2017 – January 2019

SASB (Sustainability Accounting Standards Board)
Advisory Council and Education Committee, December 2012 – May 2016
Affiliate Network, September 2017 – present)

Greenhouse Gas Management Institute (GHGMI)
Advisor, Climate Adaptation; Expert to ISO TC 207/SC7
Jan. 2015 – May 2018

Vermillion Institute (Calgary, Canada)
Senior Advisor
March 2011 – present

Environment and Sustainability in Higher Education

Sustainability Curriculum Consortium
Founder & Managing Director
October 2015 – present

Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education (AASHE)
Advisory Council, January 2015 – December 2016

American College and University Presidents’ Climate Commitment (ACUPCC)
May 2012 – Jan. 2014
Member, Climate Adaptation Committee

Association for Environmental Studies & Sciences (AESS)
Member, May 2014 – present

Law Associations & Initiatives

American Bar Association
ABA President’s Task Force on Sustainable Development (2013 – 2015)
Member, ABA Delegation to World Summit on Sustainable Development (WSSD) in Johannesburg (2002)

American Bar Association (ABA-SEER)
Section on Environment, Energy & Resources (SEER)
May 1985 – September 2019
Past Chair, “Sustainable Development, Climate Change & Ecosystems” Committee (2002 – 2004)
Vice Chair, “Climate Change, Sustainable Development & Ecosystems” Committee (2004 – 2013, 2015 – 2018)

American Bar Association (ABA-SIL)
Section on International Law (SIL)
September 2006 – September 2019
Vice Chair, “Corporate Social Responsibility” Committee ?(2006 – 2013)
Steering Committee, “Corporate Social Responsibility” Committee?(2013- 2015)

World Bank Global Forum on Law, Justice and Development
Thematic Working Group “Law and Economy”
Community of Practice on “Public-Private Partnerships”
June 2013 – present

UNCITRAL — UN Commission on International Trade and Law
Expert Group on Public-Private Partnerships (PPPs)
October 2013 – present

Center for International Environmental Law (CIEL)
Advisory Council
May 2014 – present

Environmental Law Institute (ELI)
Council of Partners
May 2006 – May 2011

International Standards Development

International Organization for Standardization (ISO TC 207)
ISO TC 207 SC 1 and SC 4 (ISO 14000 series)
January 1994 – September 2001
US/ANSI Expert, ISO 14031 (Environmental Performance Evaluation); ISO 14050 (Terms & Definitions); ISO 14063 (Environmental Communications)??US TAG to TC 207, Vice Chair, Sub-TAG 4 on Environmental Performance Evaluation

International Organization for Standardization (ISO WG/SR)
Working Group on Social Responsibility (ISO 26000)
March 2005 – November 2009
US/ANSI Expert to WG/SR for SSRO stakeholder group
Member, Chairman’s Advisory Group (CAG) for WG/SR
Co-Chair, Service, Support, Research & Others (SSRO) Stakeholder Group in WG/SR
Co-Chair, Drafting Team Environment in WG/SR??USTAG to WG/SR,
SSRO representative to Stakeholder Council

International Organization for Standardization (ISO TC 207)
ISO TC 207/ SC 7
Adaptation Coordinator, SC 7, April 2015 – May 2018
GHGMI Expert to SC 7
Chair, Climate Adaptation Task Force (ATF)

National Policy Initiatives

President’s Council on Sustainable Development (PCSD)
Environmental Management Task Force
April 1997 – August 1999

National Environmental Policy Institute (NEPI)
Advisor to former Congressman and NEPI Executive Director Don Ritter
March 1995 – April 1999
Reinventing the Vehicle for Environmental Management (1995)

Multi-state Working Group on Environmental Performance (MSWG)
Member, Officer, Director
June 2001 – June 2011

Public Service Appointments

State of Maryland
Maryland Climate Change Commission, Adaptation Working Group
September 2007 – May 2009

Montgomery County, Maryland
Sustainability Working Group
September 2008 – Present
Advisor to Working Group Co-chairs

City of Rockville, Maryland
Environment Commission
October 1999 – April 2002
Served successively as member, vice chair and chair of the commission

Gov. Martin O’Malley, Maryland
O’Malley-Brown Environment & Natural Resources Transition Team
November 2006 – May 2007

Attorney General Doug Gansler, Maryland
Maryland AG Environmental Advisory Council
November 2006 – Present

Campaign policy positions

Environment 2004
National Advisory Council
October 2003 – November 2004
Coordinated Maryland and Boston Convention events

Obama-Biden 2008 Campaign
Energy & Environment Team
September 2007 – November 2008
Coordinator, Ad Hoc Group for Sustainable Change

Obama-Biden 2012 Campaign
Energy & Environment Team
February 2012 – November 2012
National Organizing Committee