Women of the Year

Robert. F. Kennedy Jr. will give the keynote address as Seattle University School of Law honors two environmental activists for their work at the seventh annual Strawberries & Champagne Reception sponsored by the law school’s Women’s Law Caucus on Thursday, April 5.

The honorees are Patti Goldman and Martha Kongsgaard (with Peter Goldman). Dean Kellye Testy also will present a Dean’s Recognition Award to Washington State Bar Association President Ellen Conedera Dial.

Patti Goldman is the managing attorney of Earthjustice’s Northwest Office. She has fought to safeguard endangered salmon, ancient forests and public health and has led battles against lawless logging and for salmon protection and has taken on hazardous pesticide use and international trade institutions that threaten to undermine environmental protection. Earthjustice is a nonprofit public interest law firm dedicated to protecting the environment.

Martha Kongsgaard is president of the Kongsgaard-Goldman Foundation, a small, private foundation formed in 1988 to support programs in environmental protection, human rights, civic development, and arts and humanities, the Foundation favors projects reflecting a deep and broad level of citizen participation and leadership. The foundation aims to help fund the building of grassroots organizations with the power to change their communities and improve their lives. Her husband Peter Goldman will share the award.

Ellen Conedera Dial is a partner with Perkins Coie LLP. Her areas of emphasis are real estate development and financing, conveyancing, title matters, condominium laws, leasing, land use and zoning, environmental issues and construction and financing and has been listed in Seattle Magazine’s “Top Lawyers” Washington Law & Politics’ Super Lawyers,” and Chambers USA’s “America's Leading Business Lawyers.”

Kennedy’s keynote address is “Crimes Against Nature,” the name of his bestselling book. Kennedy is a staunch defender of the environment who was named one of Time magazine’s Heroes for the Planet for his success helping Hudson Riverkeeper lead the fight to restore the Hudson River. The group’s achievement helped spawn more than 130 Waterkeeper organizations across the globe. He is chief prosecuting attorney for the Hudson Riverkeeper and president of Waterkeeper Alliance. He is also a clinical professor and supervising attorney at Pace University School of Law’s Environmental Litigation Clinic and is co-host of Ring of Fire on Air America Radio.

He has worked on environmental issues across the Americas and has assisted several indigenous tribes in Latin America and Canada in successfully negotiating treaties protecting traditional homelands. He is credited with leading the fight to protect New York City's water supply. The New York City watershed agreement, which he negotiated on behalf of environmentalists and New York City watershed consumers, is regarded as an international model in stakeholder consensus negotiations and sustainable development. He helped lead the fight to turn back the anti-environmental legislation during the 104th Congress.

The reception is by invitation only. For more information on the event, call (206) 398.4281.