Russ helps global companies navigate international environmental regulatory regimes and develop product compliance and market-access strategies.
He served for over ten years as an international lawyer at the United States Department of State, representing the U.S. Government in designing, negotiating, or implementing most of the major multilateral environmental and oceans agreements. His experience and representative matters include:
Chemicals, Substances in Articles, and Product-Related Environmental Compliance
- Advising chemicals, pesticides, toy, and electronics companies on compliance with chemicals-related market access regulations, including Registration, Evaluation, Authorisation and Restriction of Chemicals (REACH); Restriction of Hazardous Substances (RoHS); and other national-level chemical and article import notification schemes as well as working extensively on multijurisdictional projects involving complex market access and compliance challenges for chemical products overseas.
- Advising companies and trade associations on regulatory requirements relating to the Stockholm Convention on Persistent Organic Pollutants (POPs), the Rotterdam Convention on Prior Informed Consent (PIC) for trade in hazardous chemicals, and the Basel Convention on trade in hazardous waste and conducting advocacy in these unique forums.
- Representing companies on compliance and advocacy relating to regulatory requirements applicable to products containing or made with ozone-depleting substances under the Montreal Protocol and U.S. Clean Air Act.
- Counseling and representing electronics importers on the U.S. excise tax on goods manufactured with ozone-depleting substances.
- Advising on supply chain risk management relating to conflict minerals, raw materials, ethical sourcing, and human rights due diligence.
- Counseling consumer product and manufacturing companies on the implementation of U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission’s conflict minerals rule and related supply chain management issues.
- Advising global clients on risk management relating to corporate due diligence, supply chain, and human rights, including United Nations Guiding Principles and disclosure requirements regarding forced labor in complex supply chains.
Biotechnology, Access and Benefit-Sharing, and Biodiversity
- Advising consumer product, chemical, and ag-biotech companies on the global impact of the Nagoya Protocol on Access and Benefit-Sharing under the Convention on Biological Diversity, including relevant due diligence strategies for genetic resources and products derived from genetic resources.
- Advising ag-biotech companies regarding the Cartagena Protocol on Biosafety and Genetically Modified Organism (GMO) product approvals, with a focus on multijurisdictional projects involving new technologies or emerging issues.
- Representing and advising a global crop protection trade association on matters relating to the Rotterdam Convention.
- Advising multinational agro-sciences companies on substance listings under the Rotterdam Convention and POPs treaties.
- Counseling consumer product manufacturers on environmental due diligence and compliance implications of products derived from natural ingredients.
- Advising companies on domestic and international illegal logging initiatives.
Climate Change, Energy Efficiency, and Geoengineering
- Advising multinational corporations on the implications of climate change and energy efficiency measures at state and federal levels.
- Advising the airline industry on a broad range of climate change-related issues.
Oceans Law and Marine Pollution
- Serving as legal adviser or negotiator to U.S. delegations in numerous multilateral oceans-related forums, including deep seabed mining regulations at the International Seabed Authority; meeting of the States Parties to the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS); marine pollution agreements at the International Maritime Organization (IMO); negotiation of the UNESCO Convention on Protection of Underwater Cultural Heritage; and the Protocol on Land-Based Sources of Marine Pollution.
- Counseling a leading company pursuing ocean iron fertilization as a tool for long-term carbon sequestration, including input on measures under review in the London Convention/London Protocol.
- Counseling a leading company engaged in archaeologically sensitive exploration and recovery of deep-water shipwrecks.
- Advising companies regarding compliance with Antarctic Treaty System agreements.
- Advising a non-governmental organization on the identification of vessels engaged in illegal, unregulated, and unreported fishing.
- Cornell University (A.B., 1989)
- Phi Beta Kappa
- Harvard University (J.D., magna cum laude, 1993)
- Harvard Law Review (1991-1993)
- District of Columbia
- The Hon. Judith Rogers, U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit
- U.S. District Court – District of Columbia
- American Bar Association
- American Society of International Law (Former member, Executive Council)
- Member, Board of Governors, Washington Foreign Law Society
- Adjunct Professor, American University's Washington College of Law ("International Business and the Environment")
- Former Member, Board of Directors, Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation, Capitol Chapter (2010-2015)
Honors & Awards
- The Legal 500, recognition in Environmental Regulatory Law (2019)
- Who's Who Legal, part of Law Business Research Ltd., recognition in Environmental and Climate Change Law (2016-2019)