Activist James Gomes joins Fairfield for Earthweek


Activist James Gomes joins Fairfield for Earthweek

For nearly 15 years, he served as president of the Environmental League of Massachusetts, one of the state’s top advocacy organizations. He worked as a policy director for future U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry, and he was the Massachusetts’ Undersecretary of Environmental Affairs under Gov. Michael Dukakis.

Environmental activist James Gomes will bring all of those perspectives to Fairfield University on Thursday, April 24, when he presents an Earth Week lecture entitled “Thinking Environmentally, Acting Politically in Connecticut.” The event at the Fairfield University bookstore, 1499 Post Road, Fairfield, is free and open to the public. It is sponsored by the University’s Master of Public Administration program .

“Connecticut residents will benefit from Gomes’ talk as they look for ways to work hard to protect their own neighborhoods and towns, the nation and the planet,” said Dr. James Simon, associate dean of Arts and Sciences, who worked with Gomes in Massachusetts government.

“It’s not enough to just proclaim the need to protect the environment. You have to roll up your sleeves and use the variety of the political tools that Jim has employed over a 30-year career,” Dr. Simon said.

Attorney Gomes received his BA in political science from Trinity College, a master's degree in public policy from Harvard's Kennedy School of Government, and a JD from Harvard Law School. He is currently director of the Mosakowski Institute for Public Enterprise at Clark University. His experience also includes work as a lawyer at the Boston firm of Hale and Dorr and as a Massachusetts assistant attorney general.

During his tenure at the Environmental League of Massachusetts, Harvard Law School named Gomes a Wasserstein Fellow for his “outstanding contribution to public interest law.” He later served on the transition team of Governor Deval Patrick, co-chairing the Energy and Environment committee.

In The New York Times , he recently argued for a greater focus in academe on “use-inspired research,” which he said seeks both to discover new knowledge and to enable society to put that knowledge to use.

His formal talk at Fairfield begins at 7 p.m. and will be followed by a question-and-answer session. Gomes will be available to meet informally with audience members at 6:30 p.m.

Additional Earth Week events include a lecture on Tuesday, April 22 at 6 p.m. in the Kelley Center Presentation Room. Alex Freid, founder of PLAN, an environmental group started by graduates of the University of New Hampshire, will present “A Zero Waste Campus is Possible.”

On Friday, April 25 th , there will be an Earth Day Festival from 4-7 p.m. in the BCC/Alumni Hall Green. Free food, life music, eco vendors, and other activities will be scheduled. This event is hosted by the Leaders for Environmental Action at Fairfield (LEAF!) and the Environmental Studies Program.

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