Pro bono team praised for its work preserving sites related to the murder of Emmett Till.
Nikki Buffa provides environmental counseling in all areas of environmental law with a particular focus on the siting of major infrastructure projects, the energy transition and renewable energy, stakeholder engagement, and crisis management.
As partner, Ms. Buffa brings two decades of experience working on energy and environmental policy. Ms. Buffa has focused her career on regulatory compliance and federal and California-state environmental policy and advocacy.
Ms. Buffa currently advises developers, utilities, other clients on all aspects of project development from initial permitting and entitlement strategy through governmental approvals incorporating legal, political, community, and public relations issues. Her experience with landscape-level land and species management ranges from deep marine environments to the high desert. She currently serves on the boards of the Irvine Ranch Conservancy, the National Parks Conservation Association, and the Advisory Board of the University of California at Berkeley Institute for Parks, People, and Biodiversity.
In 2020–2021, Ms. Buffa served on the Biden-Harris Presidential Transition team as the White House Council on Environmental Quality Transition Team Lead.
Ms. Buffa rejoined Latham after serving eight years in the Obama Administration, most recently at the United States Department of the Interior. As Deputy Chief of Staff, Ms. Buffa managed a diverse set of missions within the 70,000 employee, US$12 billion department, including serving as a key player in President Obama’s success in conserving more lands and waters than any President in history.
Prior to joining the Department of the Interior, Ms. Buffa was the Deputy Director of Cabinet Affairs at the White House. Here, she worked closely with senior White House staff and agency leadership to advance the President’s policy and regulatory priorities at the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Departments of Interior, Agriculture, Energy and Transportation.
In 2009, after serving on the 2008 Presidential campaign and Presidential Transition Team, Ms. Buffa became the Deputy Chief of Staff, then later Associate Director, for the Council on Environmental Quality at the White House. Ms. Buffa helped develop and implement the Administration’s policies on clean energy, transportation, and environmental and human health protection.