NRDC Trio of Women Recognized as Top Environmental Leaders Under 40

San Francisco, CA (March 14, 2013) –Three women from the Natural Resources Defense Council’s San Francisco office have been recognized this year with rising star awards for their achievements and excellence in the legal, business, and environmental advocacy professions. Collectively, they represent the next generation of the Bay Area’s environmental movement, seeking innovative new solutions to the world’s greatest environmental and health challenges. 

Anjali Jaiswal, director of NRDC’s India initiative, received the “Top 20 Under 40” honor from The Daily Journal, which recognizes emerging leaders in California’s legal field. Amanda Eaken, deputy director of NRDC’s Sustainable Communities, received the San Francisco Business Times’ “40 Under 40” award, recognizing influential young professionals across the spectrum of businesses who are helping shape the Bay Area’s future. Jennifer Sorenson, NRDC litigation attorney, received the “Distinguished Environmental Advocates Award” from The American Bar Association's Section of Environment, Energy, and Resources, which recognizes lawyers under the age of 36 or in practice fewer than five years whose accomplishments are above and beyond those of their peers.

As director of NRDC’s India Initiative, Anjali Jaiswal is helping India build a sustainable economy by working with partner groups to unleash India’s nascent solar energy market, develop energy-efficiency building standards, and strengthen local community programs to fight the heat-related impacts of climate change.   

“I’ve been extremely lucky to work with the most dedicated and smartest lawyers and professionals in the business” said Jaiswal. “I owe much of my success to them.”        

Prior to launching NRDC’s India initiative, Jaiswal litigated multiple successful suits for NRDC and led campaigns to stop new coal-fired power plants in southeastern Ohio, strengthen national energy efficiency standards, and safeguard water resources in California. She also served as lead council successfully challenging the U.S. Department of Energy’s designation of over 100 acres of American wildlands for fast-track transmission line construction without environmental review.

Amanda Eaken leads NRDC’s efforts to implement California’s Senate Bill 375, the nation’s first law to link climate change with transportation and land use. The legislation, which was sponsored by NRDC, helps fight climate change by providing Californians with sustainable transportation choices like biking, public transit, and walkable, mixed-use communities.

“It’s an honor to receive this award on behalf of NRDC and all of my environmental colleagues,” said Eaken. “NRDC has a long history of partnerships with Bay Area businesses to achieve environmental victories, and SB 375 is no exception. Bay Area companies see that there is a strong business case for sustainable communities—these are the kinds of vibrant, dynamic places where both businesses and people want to be.”

Eaken is also an avid cyclist and for the past two years has led NRDC’s team in the California Climate Ride, a five day, 320-mile bike ride from Eureka to San Francisco to fundraise for groups like NRDC fighting climate change.

Jennifer Sorenson serves as chief litigator in a case challenging the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s decades-long refusal to ban the non-therapeutic use of antibiotics in livestock feed – a practice that has diminished the efficacy of some antibiotics in treating human infections. The federal district court ruled in favor of NRDC and the other citizen group plaintiffs in two major decisions in 2012, and the case is now up on appeal in the Second Circuit.

“It’s a tremendous honor to be recognized by the ABA’s Environment Section,” Sorenson said. “The award is a testament to the strength and vision of NRDC’s Litigation Team, which gives junior attorneys the training they need to bring cases that can make a real difference in people’s lives.”

In 2011, Jennifer worked on an environmental justice case in Dickson County, Tennessee, which settled with an agreement by the government to place lower-income communities of color in rural Tennessee on public water, freeing the community from having to drink well-water contaminated with a noxious chemical that had been leaching into the drinking supply from an unregulated landfill.

For more information on these individuals work and background please see blogs here: