David J. Hayes was the State Impact Center's executive director from August 2017 through January 2021. Hayes now serves in the Biden administration as Special Assistant to the President for Climate Policy.
David J. Hayes is a nationally recognized environmental, energy and natural resources lawyer who previously served as the Deputy Secretary at the U.S. Department of the Interior for Presidents Barack Obama (2009-2013) and Bill Clinton (1999-2001). As second in command, Hayes was the Interior Department's Chief Operating Officer, with line authority over its nine major bureaus and 70,000 employees. From 2013-2017, he was a visiting lecturer at Stanford Law School and affiliated with Stanford's Woods Institute for the Environment and Precourt Institute for Energy. Hayes was a member of the board of directors for the Coalition for Green Capital; the Advisory Council of Stanford’s Bill Lane Center for the American West; and founder of the US Wildlife Trafficking Alliance. Before and between his service in the Clinton and Obama administrations, Hayes worked in the private sector as a partner and global chair of the Environment, Land & Resources department at Latham & Watkins, an international law firm. Hayes graduated summa cum laude from the University of Notre Dame and received his JD from Stanford Law School.
Elizabeth Johnson Klein was the State Impact Center's deputy director from August 2017 through January 2021. Klein now serves in the Biden administration as Senior Counselor to Interior Secretary Deb Haaland.
Elizabeth Klein is an experienced attorney who specializes in clean energy, climate change, and environmental issues. She served at the Department of the Interior during both the Clinton and Obama administrations, including as Interior’s associate deputy secretary as well as principal deputy assistant secretary in the Office of Policy, Management and Budget. Prior to her most recent government service, Klein was an attorney at Latham & Watkins specializing in energy and environmental law issues, and a law clerk at the Department of Justice’s Environment and Natural Resources Division and its Environmental Enforcement Section. Before becoming an attorney, she worked in various government relations and communications roles, including for the National Park Foundation and the Democratic Governors Association. Klein graduated summa cum laude with a degree in economics from the George Washington University and received her JD from American University’s Washington College of Law, where she was president of the Environmental Law Society and senior articles editor of the Sustainable Development Law & Policy journal, graduating summa cum laude and Order of the Coif.