Karen Goldberg is Assistant Regional Counsel at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency in San Francisco, where she has more than 20 years of experience handling a wide range of legal matters involving solid and hazardous waste issues, with an emphasis on waste issues affecting Indian Country. Karen recently received EPA's Gold Medal award for her work on a multi- agency team addressing uranium contamination on the Navajo Nation and Hopi Reservation remaining from cold war era mining and milling of uranium, and EPA's National Notable Achievement Award for establishing a system of financial reporting for parties cleaning up Superfund sites. She also received the Regional Legal Enforcer of the Year award for her work obtaining over $50 million in settlements to fund cleanup work. Her cases include federal Superfund sites such as the NASA Jet Propulsion laboratory in Pasadena, private Superfund sites with thousands of responsible parties such as the Casmalia Hazardous Waste Disposal Facility near Santa Barbara, and municipal landfills throughout the west.
Karen sits on EPA's national Environmental Conflict Resolution workgroup, which addresses agency issues ranging from use of third party neutrals in enforcement matters and facilitators in stakeholder meetings to use of collaborative processes in policy making and community involvement, provides mediation facilitation, and coordinates training for EPA staff in collaborative decision-making and consensus-building. Karen recently co-taught a course on Interest Based Negotiations at an EPA conference for Community Involvement coordinators in Seattle, Washington.
She is the author of Efforts to Prevent Misuse of Pesticides Exported to Developing Countries: Progressing Beyond Regulation and Notification published in a special issue on Environmental Law and Policy in Developing Countries published by Boalt Hall's Ecology Law Quarterly.
Before working at EPA, Karen worked at the California Coastal Conservancy, where she coordinated a plan for the agency to purchase undeveloped lots in a Malibu subdivision, place restrictive covenants on them and sell them to adjacent landowners, effectively minimizing development in an ecologically sensitive area.
Karen graduated from the University of California at Berkeley with a degree in the Political Economy of Natural Resources, where she founded a cooperative Jewish student household and community center, and later formed and ran a nonprofit organization which continues to run the house. She received her J.D. from Boalt Hall School of Law with a focus on environmental law.
Karen was born in New York, has lived in Israel and Hawaii where she learned Israeli folk- dancing and hula, respectively, has traveled extensively, has run the Bay-to-Breakers race many times and ran the San Francisco marathon in 2005 (don't ask her how long it took) but has forgotten the pain enough to be contemplating training for a triathlon team. She currently resides in Albany, California, with her daughter, Ilana and cat, Latte.