Paul Gallay


Paul Gallay is the Director of the Resilient Coastal Communities Program at the Center for Sustainable Urban Development and an adjunct lecturer with the Undergraduate Program in Sustainable Development.

An attorney and educator, Paul has worked to promote the sustainability of human and natural communities since 1987, when he left the private practice of law and joined the New York State Attorney General’s environmental protection bureau. 

In 1990, Paul began a ten-year stint at New York’s Department of Environmental Conservation, where he brought hundreds of corporate and government polluters to justice. Paul subsequently spent a decade in the land conservation movement before serving as president of Riverkeeper, New York's Clean Water Advocate, from July 2010 to June 2021. 

As Hudson Riverkeeper, Paul supported a staff of 30 and a network of thousands of volunteers who monitor local water quality and fight pollution in their communities. He helped trigger $3.9 billion in state funding for safe drinking water and water pollution control infrastructure; negotiated and signed a landmark agreement to close the aging Indian Point nuclear plant; and, partnered with groups across New York to win a statewide ban on natural gas hydrofracking. 

Paul is a graduate of Williams College and Columbia Law School. He was a visiting professor at Williams College and an adjunct professor at Clarkson University before joining the Earth Institute, where he has taught US Water & Energy Policy [GU4050] since Spring 2018.