Skip to main content
News Release

Vermont Law School Names Thomas McHenry New President and Dean

Monday, February 13, 2017


The Board of Trustees of Vermont Law School today announced Thomas J. P. McHenry will serve as the next president and dean of VLS, effective July 1. McHenry will succeed President and Dean Marc B. Mihaly, who will return to teaching after a period of transition.

"Tom McHenry has a demonstrated commitment to environmental quality and stewardship," said Board Chair Christopher Dutton. "He has also dedicated himself to teaching at all levels even as he pursued his profession as an outstanding advocate and counselor. His enthusiasm and focus will aid Vermont Law School as we move forward from the outstanding leadership provided by Marc Mihaly."

Last fall Mihaly announced he would not renew his contract when it expires in July, for personal reasons. He plans to return to teaching as a member of the VLS environmental law faculty.

"I congratulate Tom McHenry, a most excellent California environmental attorney, on his appointment as the next president and dean of Vermont Law School," said Mihaly. "I've known Tom for some time, and am certain that he will be an active and devoted asset to the school, continuing its spirit of innovation and its devotion to training leaders to make the world more sustainable and just. Tom and I will work together in the coming months to ensure a smooth and seamless transition."

Since 1999 McHenry has served as a partner of Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher in Los Angeles, Calif., an environmental regulatory and administrative law practice with specializations in air quality, hazardous waste management, environmental transactions, land use and energy. He previously was a partner of Weston Benshoof (formerly McClintock, Weston, now Alston & Bird), 1993-1999, and an associate, 1987-1993. He has provided legal counsel internationally, including on environmental and natural resources legislation in the People's Republic of China, Laos, Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda and Namibia; and on forestry, wildlife and national parks legislation in West Africa and the Caribbean, for the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the United Nations (UN). Over the years McHenry has held various teaching positions, including as a member of the Summer Session faculty at VLS, where since 2013 he has taught Environmental Business Transactions and Comparative U.S./France Land Use Law.

McHenry's nonprofit and community service includes leadership roles with the Los Angeles Chamber of Commerce, Wildlife Conservation Society, California State Parks Foundation, California Waste Association, Santa Lucia Conservancy, Wolf Fund Advisory Board, Center for Large Landscape Conservation, Council on Watershed Health, National Forest Foundation Board, Natural Heritage Institute, Wildlife Trust, and Connecticut Fund for the Environment. He co-chairs the Environmental Leadership Council of the Yale School of Forestry & Environmental Studies and serves as vice chair of the Roberts Environmental Center at Claremont McKenna College.

McHenry earned a juris doctor at New York University School of Law, a master's degree at Yale School of Forestry & Environmental Studies, and a bachelor's degree at Yale College.


Vermont Law School, a private, independent institution, is home to the nation's largest and deepest environmental law program. VLS offers a Juris Doctor curriculum that emphasizes public service; three Master's Degrees—Master of Environmental Law and Policy, Master of Energy Regulation and Law, and Master of Food and Agriculture Law and Policy; and four post-JD degrees —LLM in American Legal Studies (for foreign-trained lawyers), LLM in Energy Law, LLM in Environmental Law, and LLM in Food and Agriculture Law. The school features innovative experiential programs and is home to the Environmental Law Center, South Royalton Legal Clinic, Environmental and Natural Resources Law Clinic, Energy Clinic, Food and Agriculture Clinic, and Center for Applied Human Rights. For more information, visit, find us on Facebook, and follow us on Twitter and Instagram.​