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Margaret "Meg" Caldwell
Senior Lecturer in Law

Biography 

Director, Environmental and Natural Resources Law & Policy Program; Executive Director, Center for Ocean Solutions, Woods Institute for the Environment

Margaret "Meg" Caldwell, JD '85, has dedicated her career to environmental law, having worked as an attorney, professor, and board member in the field. Her scholarship has focused on the environmental effects of local land use decisions, the use of science in environmental and marine resource policy development and implementation, and developing private and public incentives for natural resource conservation. In addition to her role as lecturer in law, Caldwell directs the Environmental and Natural Resources Law and Policy Program at the law school. Caldwell also has an appointment with the Woods Institute for the Environment where she serves as executive director of the Center for Ocean Solutions. The center is a collaboration between Stanford, the Monterey Bay Aquarium, and the Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute whose core mission is to increase the impact of the natural, physical and social sciences on ocean policy and management.

Caldwell is a regular in Washington, D.C. and Sacramento alike, working with elected officials, ocean and coastal agencies and their stakeholders to tackle major challenges with practical approaches. She has testified in Congress regarding reauthorization of the National Marine Sanctuaries Act and the ecological and economic impacts of the BP Deepwater Horizon Oil Disaster. She also served as a senior consultant to the National Commission on the BP Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill and Offshore Drilling, providing both oral testimony and written reports to the commission on recommendations to reform federal oversight of offshore oil exploration and drilling.

A well-respected figure in environmental law, she was selected as the chair of the California Coastal Commission and served on that body for nearly three years. While chair of the commission, Caldwell also served on the board of the California Coastal Conservancy. She was appointed by the California secretary for natural resources to the Marine Life Protection Act Blue Ribbon Task Force for the central, north central, and south coast study regions and is currently serving on the Blue Ribbon Task Force for the north coast. Before joining the Stanford Law School faculty in 1994, Caldwell was an instructor at San Jose State University and the University of California, Davis; counsel for MicroCLEAN, Inc.; a member of the City of Saratoga Planning Commission; and an associate in the environmental law group of McCutchen, Doyle, Brown & Enersen.

Key Works