Shalanda Baker

1.20.21 — Professor Shalanda Baker ’05 has been appointed deputy director for energy justice in the Office of Economic Impact and Diversity at the Biden-Harris administration’s Department of Energy.In this historic role, the first of its kind, Baker will be charged with designing, building and driving the President-elect's initiative to move 40% of all climate investments to frontline, environmental justice communities.

"It will be the honor and thrill of a lifetime to use my expertise in service of frontline communities while also serving as our nation's first Deputy Director for Energy Justice at DOE,” said Baker. "I look forward to working with the many experts across the Administration who were appointed to help tackle the climate crisis.

“While we will very much miss Shalanda during her leave of absence to pursue this opportunity, the Northeastern Law community takes pride in all Shalanda has thus far accomplished, both as a graduate of the law school and faculty member,” said Dean James Hackney. “We are looking forward to impactful outcomes from this critical work.”

Professor Baker is a leading expert on environmental and energy law. In 2018, she co-founded the Initiative for Energy Justice to support the delivery of equity-centered energy policy research and technical assistance to policymakers and frontline communities across the country. She also works closely with colleagues in Northeastern’s Global Resilience Institute, linking it to the School of Law’s Center for Law, Innovation and Creativity (CLIC). She teaches courses at the law school and in the College of Social Sciences and Humanities related to her research interests and is the author of Revolutionary Power: An Activist’s Field Guide to the Energy Transition (Island Press 2021).

Professor Baker served as an Air Force officer prior to her honorable discharge under the “Don't Ask, Don't Tell” policy, and became a vocal advocate for repeal of the policy. Following her graduation from law school, Professor Baker clerked for Justice Roderick Ireland of the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court. She also worked as a corporate and project finance associate for Bingham McCutchen, initially in Boston and later in Japan. Professor Baker completed a William H. Hastie Fellowship at the University of Wisconsin Law School, where she received her LLM. In 2016, she was awarded a Fulbright and spent a year in Mexico exploring energy reform, climate change and indigenous rights.

Before joining Northeastern’s faculty, Professor Baker spent three years as an associate professor of law at the William S. Richardson School of Law, University of Hawai’i, where she was the founding director of the Energy Justice Program. Prior to that, she served on the faculty at University of San Francisco School of Law. 

About Northeastern University School of Law

The nation’s leader in experiential legal education, Northeastern University School of Law offers the longest-running, most extensive experience-based legal education program in the country and is a national leader in legal education reform. Founded with cooperative legal education as the cornerstone of its program, Northeastern guarantees its students unparalleled practical legal work experiences. All students participate in full-time legal placements, and can choose from the more than 1,500 employers worldwide participating in the school’s signature Cooperative Legal Education Program. The future of legal education since 1968, Northeastern University School of Law blends theory and practice, providing students with a unique set of skills and experience to successfully practice law.

For more information, contact d.feldman@northeastern.edu.