Gabriel Pendleton, Esq. President of the Board
Gabriel I. Pendleton grew up on a small island off the coast of Maine and attended the University of Maine, graduating magna cum laude in 2005. He received his law degree, cum laude, from the University of Pittsburgh School of Law in 2010. While at law school, Mr. Pendleton worked at the Pittsburgh Environmental Law Clinic and served as an editor of the Pittsburgh Journal of Environmental and Public Health Law. Following law school, he spent two years as a judicial law clerk at the Vermont Superior Court, where he worked on criminal, civil, and family law matters. Mr. Pendleton is admitted to the Maine and Massachusetts State Bars, and focuses on criminal defense, family law, and civil litigation. He started a solo private practice in Maine and runs his family boating business on a part-time basis as well.
Evan durst, Esq., Secretary of the Board
Evan J. Durst is originally from Raleigh, North Carolina, but grew up about 15 miles east of Pittsburgh in Murrysville, Pennsylvania. He graduated from the University of Pittsburgh in 2008 with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science and a minor in Religious Studies. He received his law degree in 2011 from the University of Pittsburgh School of Law. While at law school, Evan spent two semesters in the Pittsburgh Environmental Law Clinic and a summer as a research intern in the Clinic. He also spent a summer working for the Washington, D.C., Department of the Environment mostly working on stormwater and air quality issues. He spent yet another semester working at the United States Environmental Protection Agency, where he worked on administrative legal issues surrounding brownfield sites. Evan is admitted to the bar in Pennsylvania.
After graduation, Evan spent two years working for a community-based non-profit organization doing development associated with both their annual fundraising and community foundation. Since November 2013, Evan has worked as an Associate Trust Advisor for PNC Bank’s Wealth Management Division in Pittsburgh. His work consists, mostly, of trust and estate administration.
Evan also sits on the board of the First Tee of Pittsburgh.
Enrique Valdivia, Esq., Treasurer of the Board
Enrique has practiced environmental law at Texas RioGrande Legal Aid in San Antonio, Texas since 1985. Enrique is a member of the Edwards Aquifer Authority Board of Directors, representing District 7, which covers a northwest-central portion of Bexar County. As secretary, Mr. Valdivia serves on the board’s Aquifer Management Planning Committee, Executive Committee, and chairs its Permits/Enforcement Committee. He was elected to the board in 2006 and re-elected in 2010. His current term expires December 1, 2014.
Enrique, a resident of San Antonio, is a practicing attorney with Texas Rio Grande Legal Aid, Inc. He holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in philosophy from Carleton College, and Juris Doctorate degree from the University of Wisconsin School of Law.
Enrique has served as board president of San Antonio non-profits Aquifer Guardians in Urban Areas (AGUA), the Greater Edwards Aquifer Alliance, and Fuerza Unida. He also serves on the boards of Texas Fund for Economic & Environmental Education and Jump Start Performance Company.
Dr. Michael Blackhurst
Dr. Michael Blackhurst is currently a Research Development Manager at the University Center for Social & Urban Research at the University of Pittsburgh. He is also a Research Consultant for the Ethos Collaborative. His research is robustly interdisciplinary, drawing especially from engineering, economics, and statistics. Dr. Blackhurst oversees applied and basic research and consulting projects in the energy and environmental sectors. His record demonstrates strong leadership in developing robust, data-driven decision-support resources for a wide array of stakeholders. Current research and consulting domains include energy and water demand-side management for the buildings sector, regional climate change mitigation and adaptation, regional water resource planning, and environmental life cycle assessment. His work has been profiled in the New York Times and National Geographic. Dr. Blackhurst has eight years of experience leading a diverse array of engineering consulting services for public sector clients.
Dr. Blackhurst received his B.S. from Carnegie Mellon University in 1999. After receiving his M.S. from The University of Texas-Austin in 2001, he earned a Ph.D. from Carnegie Mellon University's Civil and Environmental Engineering Department and the Engineering and Public Policy Department. He completed his Post-Doc at Carnegie Mellon in 2011. He held an appointment as an Assistant Professor in the Department of Civil, Architectural and Environmental Engineering at The University of Texas at Austin from 2011-2014 before joining Pitt.
Bala Kumar, Esq.
Bala is originally from Pensacola, Florida, but moved to Pittsburgh for law school at the University of Pittsburgh School of Law. He is currently a resident in the South Hills of Pittsburgh. He received his B.A. in English from the University of Florida in 2009 and his J.D. from the University of Pittsburgh School of Law in 2012 with a Certificate in Environmental Law. At Pitt, he was a Certified Legal Intern in the Environmental Law Clinic and an Editor of the Tax Law Journal. He worked as a legal intern with the Zoning Board of Adjustment in Pittsburgh. He is currently a title attorney at M.W. Gary & Associates.
Randy Walsh is an Associate Professor in the Department of Economics at the University of Pittsburgh School of Arts and Sciences. Randy’s research interests involve public economics, urban economics, environmental economics, applied micro economics, economic history, and racial disparities. Randy currently serves on the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Science Advisory Board Environmental Justice Technical Guidance Review Panel. He has also served on the Allegheny County Health Department’s Air Toxics Commission. He received his Ph.D. from Duke University and his B.A. from the University of New Hampshire.
jordan yeager, esq.
Jordan B. Yeager is Partner and Chair of the Environmental and Public Sector Section at the firm Curtin & Heefner, LLP. Mr. Yeager focuses his practice on employment law, environmental law, land use law, municipal law and appellate litigation. Mr. Yeager has served as Solicitor and Special Counsel to municipal governments, with emphasis on labor, employment, zoning, land use and civil rights litigation. He represents public and private sector employers and employees in all aspects of labor and employment law, including counseling, negotiations, arbitration, litigation, trials and appeals. Mr. Yeager also advises municipal governments, community associations, non-profits and individual property owners in connection with environmental and land use matters, including issues related to gas drilling in the Marcellus Shale formation. Mr. Yeager litigates zoning, DEP permitting, and environmental claims in state and federal courts and administrative agencies. Mr. Yeager has been a frequent lecturer on employment law, land use, and civil rights issues.
Mr. Yeager was named by American Lawyer Media as a Lawyer on the Fast Track in 2006. Among other public sector clients, Mr. Yeager currently serves as Solicitor to Yardley Borough and Nockamixon Township. He has served as Solicitor to the Bucks County Democratic Committee and as legal counsel to the Pennsylvania Democratic Party and numerous federal, state and local campaigns.