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Thomas Stoel

(Oregon & Balliol 1965) (18 June 1941 - 17 July 2020)

Tom grew up in Portland, Ore., and graduated from Lincoln High School. He majored in mathematics at Princeton and went on to Harvard Law School, from which he graduated magna cum laude and served as an officer on the Harvard Law Review. It was at Harvard that he met Carol Frank, his future wife. Tom spent two years after law school on a Rhodes scholarship at Oxford, receiving a D.Phil. in law. On his return, he served as law clerk to Justice John M. Harlan on the U.S. Supreme Court.

In 1973 Tom joined the Natural Resources Defense Council as one of its founders. For the rest of his life, he worked to make the world a more habitable place. He initiated NRDC’s first international programs and directed its international work for almost two decades, forming partnerships with environmental organizations in other countries and leading NRDC’s efforts to restore the ozone layer and combat climate change. In later years, he served as a consultant on environmental policy issues for the United Nations and other organizations. His final law review article, published in 2020, advocated for a federal statute to authorize compensation for legally imposed segregation.