Thomas Linzey is Senior Legal Counsel with the Center for Democratic and Environmental Rights (CDER). He was previously the Executive Director of the Community Environmental Legal Defense Fund (CELDF), a nonprofit law firm established in Pennsylvania in 1995 that provides free legal services to over 500 local governments and nonprofit organizations. He is admitted to practice in the United States Supreme Court; the Third, Fourth, Eighth, and Tenth Circuit Courts of Appeals; the U.S. District Court for the Western and Middle Districts of Pennsylvania; and the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. Linzey has expertise in the history of corporations and in organizing tactics that help local communities claim their rights when threatened by corporate infringement of their laws.
He assisted the Ecuadorian constitutional assembly in 2008 to adopt the world’s first constitution recognizing the independently enforceable rights of ecosystems.
He is a co-founder of the Daniel Pennock Democracy School, which assists groups in creating new community campaigns that elevate the rights of those communities over rights claimed by corporations. Now located in twenty-four states across the country, the School has graduated over 5,000 lawyers, activists, and municipal officials.
The author of Be The Change: How to Get What You Want in Your Community (2009), his work has been featured in The New York Times, The Los Angeles Times, Mother Jones, and the The Nation. Linzey has served as a co-host of Democracy Matters, a public affairs radio show broadcast from KYRS in Spokane, Washington, and syndicated on ten other stations.
A cum laude graduate of Widener Law School and a three-time recipient of the law school’s public interest law award, he has been a finalist for the Ford Foundation’s Leadership for a Changing World Award and is a recipient of the Pennsylvania Farmers Union’s Golden Triangle Legislative Award. In 2007 he was named one of Forbes magazine’s “Top Ten Revolutionaries” and in 2018 was profiled as one of the nation’s leading environmentalists in the book American Environmental Leaders.
Thomas Linzey currently resides in Spokane, Washington.
Contact Stacey Schmader about Thomas Linzey’s speaking terms and dates.