B&D Congratulates Ben Wilson on Receiving ELI Environmental Achievement Award

Beveridge & Diamond congratulates our former Chairman Benjamin F. Wilson for his selection by the Environmental Law Institute (ELI) for ELI’s 2022 Environmental Achievement Award. In selecting Ben to receive the award, ELI cited his lifetime of contributions to the practice of environmental law not only through decades of practice in significant environmental matters but also his role in founding environmental law educational programs, his leadership on diversity, equity, and inclusion, and his mentorship of hundreds of lawyers. Ben will receive the award at ELI’s Annual Award Dinner on Tuesday, October 25, in Washington, DC.

“All of us at B&D are so proud of Ben and his many accomplishments. This much-deserved recognition from ELI is a fitting capstone for his phenomenal career. Most of all, we are fortunate to call him our friend and colleague,” said Kathryn E. (Kathy) Szmuszkovicz, B&D’s Firmwide Managing Principal.

“Ben is a remarkable environmental lawyer whose impact reverberates so far beyond his immediate circle. An astounding number of people call him a mentor, and his lasting impacts are felt not only in the legal profession, but across diverse communities nationwide,” said ELI President Jordan Diamond. “He spent a career championing the interplay of environmental and civil rights, and we are all better for it,” she added.

Ben retired from B&D and the practice of law on December 31, 2021. While he is no longer affiliated with B&D, he continues to manage the Diverse Lawyers Network. He serves on several Boards, including ELI (where he has served as Board Chairman since 2017 and was instrumental in creating ELI’s Pro Bono Clearinghouse), APCO Worldwide, Northwestern Mutual Life Insurance Company (where he serves as lead Director), and PG&E Corporation (where he chairs the Audit Committee). Ben also continues to teach at the Howard University School of Law, where he helped create the environmental law program.

At B&D, Ben was lead counsel in numerous complex and high-stakes environmental litigation and regulatory matters for major consumer product corporations, retailers, oil and gas companies, municipalities, and developers. He served as the Court-Appointed Monitor for the Duke Energy coal ash spill remediation project and as Deputy Monitor for Emissions & Environmental in the Volkswagen AG emissions proceedings. He previously served as lead counsel at the largest chromium site in the United States. Ben also counseled clients on environmental justice representations and the intersection of civil rights and environmental matters. He was elected for two terms to the District of Columbia Bar Board of Governors, and as Chair of the District of Columbia Board of Elections and Ethics from 1990 to 2004.

Perhaps most importantly, Ben continues to be a tireless advocate for diversity, equity, and inclusion in the legal profession and a mentor to hundreds of lawyers of color. Ben established the African American General Counsel and Managing Partner Networks in 2012 and founded the Diverse Partners Network in 2008. Ben has received numerous awards and other recognition for his leadership and dedication.

Earlier this year, B&D established the Benjamin F. Wilson/Beveridge & Diamond PC Environmental Law Scholarship Fund at Howard University School of Law. The fund, part of the school’s endowment, will provide an annual scholarship that the law school will award to a student who demonstrates an interest in pursuing a career in environmental law.