Vice President for Government Relations
Areas of Expertise: National legislative and administrative campaigns; federal legislation and policy, including federal land management; environmental community strategies and coordination; and non-profit management
Robert oversees the implementation of Defenders’ national legislative and administrative priorities through legislative and grassroots advocacy, coalition participation and national environmental community coordination. He established Defenders’ Government Relations and External Affairs department in 1999. Key legislative accomplishments under Robert’s leadership include securing favorable provisions for wildlife in the National Wildlife Refuge System Improvement Act, the Transportation Equity Act for the 21st Century, and the Marine Mammal Protection Act. Other significant accomplishments during his tenure include defending the Endangered Species Act from congressional assaults; protecting the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge from oil drilling; establishing a new Florida bear license plate; coordinating a successful Alaska ballot initiative; and spearheading policy and litigation initiatives to influence the management of national wildlife refuges and national forests, help natural resources adapt to climate change and to improve transportation planning. Robert helps implement advocacy by Defenders of Wildlife Action Fund and oversees development of the group’s annual legislative Report Card. He serves on the Scorecard Advisory Committee of the League of Conservation Voters and on the board of several environmental collaborative initiatives and organizations.
Before joining Defenders in 1990, Robert lobbied on energy and climate change issues for Environmental Action, conducted safety and fuel efficiency advocacy for the Center for Auto Safety and worked for the House Interior and Insular Affairs Committee’s Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations.
Robert Dewey earned his B.A. from Colgate University and an M.S.L. from Vermont Law School.