Richard Emory is a graduate of Yale University (magna cum laude, 1963) where he studied international relations, and of Harvard Law School (1967). In his first year as a lawyer, he was law clerk to the Chief Judge of the supreme court of the State of Maryland. From 1963 to 1969, he enlisted and served as a bosun’s mate in the U.S. Coast Guard Reserves. In 1974, he campaigned for public office, was elected, and then served four years in Maryland’s state legislature. In Maryland as an Assistant Attorney General, he twice (1979–80 and 1988–90) served as a trial attorney prosecuting environmental offenders statewide.
In 1980, to begin the second part of his career, he joined the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency in Washington, D.C. Here he helped to create the new EPA criminal enforcement program, and from 1990 to 1992 as EPA’s top criminal lawyer he acted as chief legal advisor nationwide for EPA’s law-enforcement agents investigating the worst pollution crimes in the U.S. In this role, he held a “top secret” U.S.-government security clearance. He was awarded honorary EPA badge number 2 (as would be carried by a U.S. federal Special Agent), one EPA silver and three EPA bronze medals, and numerous certificates for outstanding accomplishment at EPA.
In the final part of his career, for EPA from 1994 to 2011 he taught and consulted globally on environmental laws, treaties, and their implementation and enforcement. He was a Fulbright professor of law resident in Germany, a Special Fellow of the United Nations Institute for Training and Research, and on several occasions a resident consultant to the Environment Directorate of the OECD in Paris, France. For EPA overseas, sometimes in cooperation with the U.N. Environment Program, he presented courses to foreign officials and served on panels in foreign settings, including two invitations to the Royal Institute of International Affairs in London. For EPA in Washington, he routinely presented briefings and courses to many foreign delegations invited by the State Department to study EPA’s enforcement methods.
Since retirement in 2011, on global environmental issues he has been a public speaker to community groups in Florida and Maryland, and onboard several ocean cruise ships.