John provides strategic counsel on high-stakes environmental and natural resources litigation, civil and criminal enforcement, and compliance. He offers clients the benefit of decades of experience as one of the nation’s top environmental lawyers, as a leader of several major bar organizations, and a distinguished military career.
He joined Beveridge & Diamond after serving from 2014 to 2017 as Assistant Attorney General for the Environment and Natural Resources Division (ENRD) of the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ). John had previously served 1995-2011 as Deputy Assistant Attorney General for ENRD and from 1991-1995 as ENRD Environmental Enforcement Section Chief. From 2011-2014, John was President of the Environmental Law Institute, a nationally recognized bipartisan organization known for its mission of making the law work for people, places, and the planet.
John was the first government attorney elected President of the District of Columbia Bar, the second largest bar in the nation. He was also the first government attorney selected as Chairman of the American Bar Association’s Section of Environment, Energy, and Natural Resources. He is a past member of the Board of the National Conference of Bar Presidents, the Board of the District of Columbia Bar Association, and the Judicial Conference of the District of Columbia Circuit’s Standing Committee on Pro Bono Legal Services. John currently serves as President of the American College of Environmental Lawyers.
Before joining the Department of Justice, John was the Chief Legislative Counsel of the U.S. Army. After graduating from the United States Military Academy at West Point, John served in Airborne, Ranger, and Special Forces units in Germany and Vietnam. His subsequent military assignments include as a criminal prosecutor in Germany and civil trial lawyer in the Pentagon; Chief of Litigation Branch, Europe; General Counsel, Defense Nuclear Agency; Staff Judge Advocate in Germany; and Director of Administrative and Civil Law, Judge Advocate General’s School, Charlottesville, Virginia. His military education includes being a Fellow, Army War College, and the Command and General Staff College.
John’s awards for government and military service include the President Rank Award from three different Presidents, the Bronze Star, Legion of Merit, Defense Meritorious Service Medal, Air Medal with Oak Leaf Clusters, and the Vietnamese Cross of Gallantry with Silver Star.
John is a volunteer swim coach for the Special Olympics and a past recipient of Fairfax County’s Volunteer of the Year award for his work with mentally handicapped children. He and his wife Sharon have two adult children.