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Honorary Degree Recipients

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Canfa Wang

Canfa Wang, a renowned environmental lawyer, serves as a senior professor in environmental law at the China University of Political Science and Law. He has been involved in the drafting and discussion of more than 30 laws and regulations on environmental protection in China, including water pollution law, clean production law, environmental impact assessment law, and more.

Professor Wang founded the Center for Legal Assistance to Pollution Victims—China’s first environmental law NGO—in 1998. Under his leadership, the center launched a new model in China’s environmental dispute resolution, easing the tension between the government, polluters, and pollution victims.

Previously, Professor Wang served as the chair of the Environmental Law Branch at China’s Society of Environmental Science, which had more than 300 members. He was elected as a people’s deputy to the 13th National People’s Congress in Beijing in 1987 and again to the 14th National People’s Congress in 2013.

In recognition of his work, Professor Wang has received many awards. He was honored as Green China Person of the Year in 2005 and recognized as one of TIME Magazine’s Heroes of the Environment in 2007. He was one of three recipients of the Nikkei Asia Prize in 2008, one of the Justice Persons of China in 2009, and one of China Central Television’s top 10 persons for outstanding contributions to the rule of law in China for 10 years. Professor Wang received the 2014 Ramon Magsaysay Award—the Asian Nobel Peace Prize—in Manila. Last year, he was appointed director of the Institute on Prosecuted Public Interest Litigation by the China University of Political Science and Law.

Professor Wang earned his MA in environmental law from the Environmental Science Center of Peking University in 1988 and his BL in law from the Department of Law of Jilin University in 1982.



Mark Latham

Mark Latham joined the Vermont Law School faculty in 2005 after fifteen years of private law practice at Gardner Carton & Douglas, which is now the Chicago office of Faegre Drinker Bidell. While in practice Mr. Latham was a member of the firm’s environmental practice group where he represented businesses in a range of environmental matters, and was the chair of the practice group from 2003 until 2005.

Since he joined the VLS faculty Professor Latham taught a variety of courses including torts, business associations, environmental law, environmental issues in business transactions, use of force, and co-taught a course in cybersecurity. He also spent several years in the administration of the school as the deputy vice dean for academic affairs and as the vice dean of students. His scholarly interests included the intersection of business and environmental law and the regulation of technology.

He received his undergraduate degree from Illinois Wesleyan University and J.D. from the University of California at Berkeley. Professor Latham retired from teaching and was appointed professor emeritus in 2021. He resides on a farm in Hartford, VT with his wife of over 30 years, Bonnie Latham.