Profs. William Boyd and Alex Wang Join Prof. Ted Parson in Emmett Institute Faculty Leadership

Faculty Take on New Roles at Emmett Institute

This month, the Emmett Institute is thrilled to welcome two of our core faculty members, William Boyd and Alex Wang, to new roles at the Institute. Both will serve as faculty co-directors alongside our faculty director Ted Parson. In their new roles, Prof. Wang and Prof. Boyd will help lead the Emmett Institute’s ambitious research, teaching, and public service agenda.

William Boyd
UCLA Professor of Law William Boyd

William Boyd is Professor of Law and Michael J. Klein Chair in Law at UCLA Law, with a joint appointment as Professor at the UCLA Institute of the Environment and Sustainability; Alex Wang is Professor of Law at UCLA Law. Both are leading scholars in their fields, exceptional classroom educators, and leaders of public interest initiatives that are shaping climate change and environmental law and policy in California, the U.S., and jurisdictions around the world. They will be working alongside our faculty director (formerly faculty co-director) Ted Parson—an accomplished scholar of environmental governance—as well as me and my colleague Cara Horowitz, shaping the strategic direction of the Emmett Institute.

Alex Wang
UCLA Professor of Law Alex Wang

Here are a few highlights of how our new faculty co-directors have contributed to the Emmett Institute’s mission to train the next generation of leaders and develop solutions to urgent environmental and environmental-justice challenges:

Prof. Boyd is recognized as one of the country’s leading energy and environmental law scholars and has written pathbreaking articles on public utilities, risk regulation, forestry, and the role of science and technology in environmental law. Boyd teaches courses and seminars on energy and climate change law, and developed a new course in renewable energy project finance, offered for the first time this spring and taught by Ed Zaelke, a UCLA Law alumnus and pioneer in the clean energy field. Boyd also leads the Ph.D. program at UCLA IoES, guiding the work of future environmental scholars in a range of disciplines. His new paper in Columbia Journal of Environmental Law considers how the debate over regulatory tools for solving environmental problems has hindered adequate responses to complex, multifaceted challenges such as climate change. William serves as project lead for the Governors’ Climate and Forests Task Force, a unique subnational collaboration of 38 states and provinces that is working to develop regulatory frameworks to reduce emissions from deforestation and land use.

Prof. Wang is a leading expert on environmental governance and the law and politics of China. Wang teaches several courses on China, international law, and comparative environmental law, and he introduced a new seminar on China and Environmental Law for 1Ls last year. His applied research is focused on solutions to environmental problems in China. Last year, Alex led a team of researchers in developing a policy report focused on lessons from California’s climate and air pollution policies. The research was presented in a webinar with 120 participants including Beijing and California officials and Chinese environmental experts. His new working paper considers how “constructive competition” between the U.S. and China could drive global climate action. Alex serves on the board of the Environmental Law Institute and as co-chair of the California-China Climate Institute’s academic advisory committee. Among his public interest initiatives, Alex organized a two-week study tour for a high-level delegation from China’s Ministry of Ecology & Environment to understand the history and practice of U.S. pollution permits. Alex has also led trainings in environmental law for judges in both the U.S. and China.

Prof. Parson, Dan and Rae Emmett Professor of Environmental Law, has served in the Emmett Institute’s faculty leadership since he joined UCLA Law in 2012. Like Professors Boyd and Wang, Ted Parson shares a commitment to education, research, and public service. Parson’s courses include International Environmental Law and Policy, Future Law, and Property – and his introductory textbook The Science and Politics of Global Climate Change (Cambridge) with Texas A&M’s Andrew Dessler was recently updated in a third edition. Ted’s world-leading research project on the governance of geoengineering examines law and policy issues presented by solar geoengineering and carbon dioxide removal. Since 2017, the project has produced more than 50 published outputs, including research and scholarly publications as well as legal, policy-oriented, and popular publications. Through the project, Prof. Parson has advised policymakers in multiple jurisdictions on law and governance issues related to geoengineering technologies.

As many of you know, our long-serving faculty co-director Prof. Ann Carlson—who was our founding faculty director, and instrumental in launching the Emmett Institute in 2008—was appointed in January as chief counsel of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, the federal agency that has joint authority with EPA over car and truck greenhouse gas standards. Prof. Carlson is taking a leave of absence from UCLA Law to fulfill her governmental duties. We’re excited that she has taken on this important new role, and pleased that colleagues have stepped up in her absence.

In addition to the leadership team of Ted, William, and Alex, and Cara and me, UCLA Law faculty affiliated with the Institute include Professors Timothy Malloy, Jim Salzman, and Jonathan Zasloff—all distinguished scholars and celebrated teachers—and our clinical supervising attorney and project director Julia Stein, who plays an indispensible role, leading our research and clinical initiatives and serving our students. Our team is bolstered by multiple post-graduate fellows, who serve in limited-term academic appointments to support our research, teaching, and service (more on their contributions in another blog post soon). Finally, our staff members Daniel Melling and Heather Morphew support the institute through communications and program administration, respectively.

Our leadership team is working to ensure the Emmett Institute continues to lead efforts to address climate change, through our bold curriculum, mentorship of students, innovative, cutting-edge research, and advocacy and service. We hope you will continue to follow our work, by subscribing to Legal Planet and the Emmett Institute’s monthly newsletter.



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About Sean

Sean B. Hecht is the Co-Executive Director of the Emmett Institute on Climate Change and the Environment, Evan Frankel Professor of Policy and Practice, and Co-Director o…

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About Sean

Sean B. Hecht is the Co-Executive Director of the Emmett Institute on Climate Change and the Environment, Evan Frankel Professor of Policy and Practice, and Co-Director o…

READ more