Shalanda H. Baker
Professor of Law, Public Policy and Urban Affairs
Northeastern University School of Law, JD 2005
University of Wisconsin Law School, LLM 2012
Professor Shalanda Baker is on a professional leave of absence to serve in the Biden-Harris Administration as the director of the Office of Economic Impact and Diversity at the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE).
Professor Baker is a leading expert on environmental and energy law. In 2018, she co-founded the Initiative for Energy Justice to support the delivery of equity-centered energy policy research and technical assistance to policymakers and frontline communities across the country. She also works closely with colleagues in Northeastern’s Global Resilience Institute, linking it to the School of Law’s Center for Law, Information and Creativity (CLIC). She teaches courses at the law school and in the College of Social Sciences and Humanities related to her research interests and is the author of Revolutionary Power: An Activist’s Field Guide to the Energy Transition (Island Press 2021).
Professor Baker served as an Air Force officer prior to her honorable discharge under the “Don't Ask, Don't Tell” policy, and became a vocal advocate for repeal of the policy. Following her graduation from law school, Professor Baker clerked for Justice Roderick Ireland of the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court. She also worked as a corporate and project finance associate for Bingham McCutchen, initially in Boston and later in Japan. Professor Baker completed a William H. Hastie Fellowship at the University of Wisconsin Law School, where she received her LLM. In 2016, she was awarded a Fulbright and spent a year in Mexico exploring energy reform, climate change and indigenous rights.
Before joining Northeastern’s faculty, Professor Baker spent three years as an associate professor of law at the William S. Richardson School of Law, University of Hawai’i, where she was the founding director of the Energy Justice Program. Prior to that, she served on the faculty at University of San Francisco School of Law.
Fields of Expertise
- Environmental Law
- International Development
- Renewable Energy Law
- Sustainable Development
- “Undue Burden,” Howard Law Journal (forthcoming).
- “Harmonizing Energy Justice: An Analysis of Transdisciplinary Literatures and Activist Frameworks to Achieve a Just Energy Transition,” Environs (forthcoming).
- “Solar Justice,” Kansas Law Review (forthcoming).
- “Climate, Energy, Justice: The Policy Path to a Just Transition for an Energy-Hungry America,” University of Houston Law Center Research Paper Series (2021) (co-author).
- “Using Environmental Justice to Inform Disaster Recovery: Vulnerability and Electricity Restoration in Puerto Rico,” 122 Environmental Science & Policy 59 (2021) (co-author)
- “Fighting for a Just Transition,” 52(2) North American Congress on Latin America (NACLA) 144 (June 2020).
- “Anti-Resilience: A Roadmap for Transformational Justice within the Energy System,” 54 Harvard Civil Rights-Civil Liberties Law Review 1 (2019).
- “Is Fracking the Next Financial Crisis? A Development Lens for Understanding Systemic Risk and Governance,” 87 Temple Law Review (2015).
- “Why the IFC’s Free, Prior, and Informed Consent Policy Doesn’t Matter (Yet) to Indigenous Communities Affected by Development Projects,” 30 Wisconsin International Law Journal 668 (2012).
- "Unmasking Project Finance: Risk Mitigation, Risk Inducement, and an Invitation to Development Disaster?," 6 Texas Journal Oil, Gas, & Energy Law 273 (Spring 2011).
- "Telling: Living with “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell,” 57 Journal of Legal Education 187 (2007).
- “The Energy Justice Stakes Embedded in the Net Energy Metering Policy Debates,” in Beyond Zero-Sum Environmentalism, eds. S. Krakoff, et al (2019).
- “Emerging Challenges in the Global Energy Transition: A View from the Frontlines,” in Energy Justice: US and International Perspectives, eds. R. Salter et. al (Edward Elgar Publishing, 2018).
- "Unlocking the Energy Commons: Expanding Community Energy Generation," in Law and Policy for a New Economy, eds. M. and G. Speth (Edward Elgar Publishing, 2017).
- "Project Finance and Sustainable Development in the Global South," in International Environment Law: Perspectives from the Global South (Cambridge University Press, 2014) (co-author).
- “Northeastern Law Professor Who Is Championing Energy Justice in Washington Gets a Promotion,” News@Northeastern (June 29, 2022).
- “Baker Confirmed to Head Office of Economic Impact and Diversity at DOE,” Northeastern Law News Announcement (June 8, 2022).
- “Professor Baker '05 Joins Biden-Harris Administration to Help Tackle Climate Crisis,” Northeastern Law News Announcement (January 21, 2021).
- “It's Not Inevitable That This Will Be Unjust': A Q&A With Shalanda Baker On Energy Justice,” WBUR's Earthwhile (January 20, 2021).
- “Revolutionary Power: An Activist’s Guide To The Energy Transition,” Rising Up with Sonali (January 19, 2021).
- “‘Good Trouble’ Came to Northeastern on Martin Luther King Jr. Day,” Northeastern News (January 19, 2021).
- “The Principles and Tools of Revolutionary Power,” Next City (January 18, 2021).
- “Baker Harnesses “Revolutionary Power” in New Book,” Northeastern Law News Announcement (January 14, 2021).
- “Justice First: How to Make the Clean Energy Transition Equitable,” The Revelator (January 11, 2021).
- “From Rhetoric to Reality: Achieving Climate Justice,” The Hill (January 5, 2020).
- “How To Create Anti-Racist Energy Policies,” WBUR's Cognoscenti (September 23, 2020).
- “As Coronavirus Infections Peak, Profit-Driven Hospital Systems Must Be Held Accountable,” The Boston Globe (April 30, 2020).
- “The Future of Energy,” What's New? (February 27, 2018).
- “Professor Finds Passion in Energy Justice Law,” Northeastern News (November 8, 2017).
- “New Professor Aims to Understand Dynamics of Energy Transition, Climate Change and Indigenous Rights,” School of Public Policy and Urban Affairs News Announcement (September 5, 2017).