Robert M. Sussman

Retired Partner

Robert Sussman retired from the partnership in December 2007. He chaired the firm's environmental practice in Washington, D.C. from 1996 to 2006. Mr. Sussman's practice focused on environmental, toxic tort, and energy issues. His clients included major trade associations and individual companies in the utility, chemical, food, petroleum, transportation, and manufacturing industries. He had been extensively involved in cutting-edge air issues for transportation companies and power plants, including EPA mobile source rulemakings and related enforcement issues, New Source Review (NSR) rulemaking and enforcement, and climate change. He also worked with major chemical and petroleum companies on complex chemical regulation and toxic tort issues and has represented a major food industry association on obesity issues. Mr. Sussman's practice often involved advocacy with EPA, the White House, Department of Energy, Congress, and international organizations.

Mr. Sussman argued two cases in the US Supreme Court and presented arguments before several courts of appeals (federal and state) and trial courts.

He was appointed by President Clinton as Deputy Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) in early 1993 and served in that position during the period 1993-94. As the Chief Operating Officer and Regulatory Policy Officer of the Agency, he was involved in all phases of EPA's activities, including leading development of the Administration's Superfund reauthorization proposal, chairing EPA's Science Policy Council, co-chairing a White House interagency committee on risk policy, and spearheading EPA's climate change and global warming initiatives. Mr. Sussman also was EPA's senior official on NAFTA implementation and played a key role in creating the North American Commission on Environmental Cooperation. He testified before Congress on behalf of EPA on numerous occasions.

After retiring from Latham at the end of 2007, Mr. Sussman was a Senior Fellow at the Center for American Progress (CAP) in Washington D.C., where he wrote and spoke on climate and energy issues. Following the election of Barack Obama in 2008, Mr. Sussman co-chaired the EPA Transition Team and then joined EPA as Senior Policy Counsel to Administrator Lisa Jackson. In that position, he provided oversight and guidance on a broad range of policy issues across the Agency, working closely with the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) and other White House offices on EPA rulemakings and policy initiatives. He left the EPA in July 2013.

Subsequently, Mr. Sussman has been an Adjunct Professor at the Georgetown Law Center and a Visiting Instructor at Yale Law School and Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies. He has also provided policy counsel to clients in the non-profit and private sectors through his consulting firm Sussman & Associates.

Mr. Sussman was appointed to represent the federal government by President Obama to the Interstate Commission for the Potomac River Basin in 2014 and currently serves as the Commission’s Chair. He also serves on the Board on Environmental Science and Toxicology of the National Academy of Sciences, the Board of Directors of the Chesapeake Legal Foundation and Council of Partners of the Environmental Law institute.

He previously served on the Board of the Environmental Law Institute and the Board on Chemical Sciences and Technology of the National Academy of Sciences.

Mr. Sussman has been named one of the leading environmental lawyers in Washington, D.C. by Chambers USA: America's Leading Business Lawyers and The International Who's Who of Environmental Lawyers.

Before serving at EPA, he was a partner at Latham & Watkins from 1987 to 1992 and at Covington & Burling from 1981 to 1987.

Mr. Sussman has given numerous speeches and published several articles on environmental policy, both while he was with Latham and subsequently.


  • LLB, Yale Law School, 1973
  • BA, Yale University, 1969