Skip To Content

James Thornton

President and Founder, ClientEarth Council Member, CCICED

James Thornton founded the environmental charity ClientEarth in 2007. He served as its CEO from 2007 to 2022 and now acts as the organization’s President.

Thornton is a member of the Bar in New York, California and the Supreme Court of the United States, and is a qualified solicitor in England and Wales. In the 1980s, he moved from Wall Street law practice to found the Citizens’ Enforcement Project at NRDC in New York, where he brought 80 federal lawsuits against corporations to enforce the Clean Water Act after the Reagan Administration had stopped enforcing the law. 

Thornton is a graduate of Yale University, Phi Beta Kappa, with departmental honors in philosophy. He is the author of an environmental legal thriller, “Immediate Harm”, and volume of poetry on science and environment, “The Feynman Challenge”.