Peter Lehner

Visiting Lecturer in Law

(spring term)


Peter Lehner is a Visiting Lecturer in Law at Yale Law School. He directs Earthjustice’s Sustainable Food & Farming Program, developing strategies to promote a more environmentally sound agricultural system and to reduce health, environmental, and climate harms from production of our food.

FULL BIOGRAPHY
Peter Lehner

Contact Information



Education & Curriculum Vitae


J.D., Columbia Law School, 1984

A.B., Harvard University, 1980

Courses Taught


  • Food Systems Environmental Law

Peter Lehner is a Visiting Lecturer in Law at Yale Law School. He directs Earthjustice’s Sustainable Food & Farming Program, developing strategies to promote a more environmentally sound agricultural system and to reduce health, environmental, and climate harms from production of our food. From 2007–2015, Lehner was the Executive Director of the Natural Resources Defense Council and the NRDC Action Fund. Among other new initiatives, Lehner shaped a clean food program with food waste, antibiotic-free meat, regional food, and climate mitigation projects.

From 1999–2006, Lehner served as chief of the Environmental Protection Bureau of the New York State Attorney General's office. He supervised all environmental litigation by and against the state, prosecuting a wide variety of polluters and developing multi-state strategies targeting global warming and air and water pollution and protecting endangered species. Lehner previously served at NRDC for five years directing the clean water program, and before that, he created and led the environmental prosecution unit for the New York City Law Department. He clerked for Chief Judge James Browning of the Ninth Circuit.

Lehner holds an A.B. in philosophy and mathematics from Harvard College and is an honors graduate of Columbia University Law School, where for many years he taught protection of natural resources and now teaches a seminar on food systems and U.S. environmental law. Lehner is on the boards of two large farms in Costa Rica, has authored two books (one forthcoming) and many articles and has been honored with numerous awards by EPA and environmental groups.