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David N. Cassuto – Executive Director
Professor David N. Cassuto is an expert in environmental law specializing in international comparative law, water law, property law and animal law. A former professor of literature specializing in literature and the environment, Professor Cassuto brings an interdisciplinary approach to environmental and international law and policy. He has published a number of path-breaking works in the field of environmental and cultural studies. He speaks frequently on these topics in both North America and South America.
Following private practice and a clerkship on the Eleventh Circuit of the United States Court of Appeals, Professor Cassuto joined the faculty of Pace Law School. He holds a B.A. from Wesleyan University, a J.D. from the University of California, Berkeley School of Law and a PhD from Indiana University. e-mail
Rômulo Silveira da Rocha Sampaio – Director for International Services
Professor Rômulo S.R. Sampaio is an expert in issues relating to climate change, carbon sequestration and biofuels. He has also published in both Brazil and the United States on issues of international environmental law. Dr. Sampaio’s private law practice experience has focused on consulting with clients with multinational issues and he currently serves on the faculty of FGV Direito Rio law.
He has earned Bachelors (L.L.B) and Masters (L.L.M) degrees in Economic and Social Law from the Pontific Catholic University of Parana – School of Law, Brazil as well as a Masters and Doctoral Degree on Juridical Sciences in Environmental Law (S.J.D.), from Pace Law School. e-mail
Joseph Edgar – Program Director
Joseph Edgar is an Associate Energy Consultant at the Pataki-Cahill Group in New York, and is pursuing a Juris Doctor (JD) from Pace University School of Law and a Masters of Environmental Management (MEM) from the School of Forestry and Environmental Studies at Yale University. Joseph also serves as a Climate and Energy Fellow at the Yale Climate and Energy Institute, where he works on carbon capture policy initiatives, post-fossil fuel energy research, and energy efficiency financing. In Brazil, he is consulting FGV Direito Rio in developing a GHG assessment program and is working with the Brazilian Biodiversity Fund (FUNBIO) on the development of financial risk models for ecosystem service projects in the Amazon. Previously, Joseph served as the Vice President of Operations at Hydraulitcall, Inc., where he supervised environmental remediation activities commissioned by the Unites States Government. He holds a B.A. in Political Science from Northeastern University in Boston, Massachusetts.
Fernando Penteado – Senior Advisor
Fernando Penteado is an expert in risk management. After a career as a risk management executive for investment banks, Fernando joined FGV Direito Rio as Vice Dean for Administration and executive coordinator of FGV’s Environmental Law Program.
Mr. Penteado received an European Legal Practice LL.M. (joint degree) from Portuguese Catholic University (Portugal), Rouen University (France) and Hannover University (Germany). His Bachelor of Laws (LL.B) was earned at Pontific Catholic University of Rio de Janeiro. He also has a M.Sc in finance from Coppead /Federal University of Rio de Janeiro (1992) and a B.S. in Statistics at the National School of Statistical Sciences – Rio de Janeiro (1983). e-mail
Heron José de Santana Gordilho – Regional Coordinator
Heron José de Santana Gordilho is a scholar of both animal and environmental law animal law, having published a number of books and articles on both subjects. He earned an SJD by the Federal University of Pernambuco and a post doc by Pace Law School. He is an environmental public prosecutor in Brazil and professor on environmental law at Federal University in State of Bahia and Catholic University. He was founder and first president of Abolitionist Institute for Animals and he founder and editor of the Brazilian Animal Rights Review, the first legal journal about animal rights in Latin America. Additionally, he created the Habeas Corpus in behalf of chimpanzee theory.