Deputy General Counsel
Region: United States and Global
Michelle focuses on legal strategies to enhance corporate and financial institution accountability and support communities in defense of their human rights and their environment. Michelle represents Indian communities in Jam v. International Finance Corporation, the first case of its kind brought against the private lending arm of the World Bank, which successfully challenged the institution’s assertion of “absolute immunity,” resulting in a 2019 Supreme Court ruling establishing that international organizations can be sued in U.S. courts. She also represents Colorado communities in Boulder County v. Suncor, et al., a climate accountability lawsuit against Exxon and Suncor, and leads EarthRights’ extractive industry transparency work focused on combating corruption and enhancing corporate disclosures relating to payments to governments and climate-related financial risk. Michelle has served as counsel in transnational human rights cases such as Doe v. Chiquita, represented survivors of sexual violence by mine security guards working for Barrick Gold in Papua New Guinea, and provided expert input to various UN human rights bodies on issues of corporate liability and international law. Michelle graduated from the University of Virginia School of Law in 2012, where she received the Robert F. Kennedy ‘51 Public Service Fellowship to work with EarthRights for a year, after which she worked as a Bertha Legal Fellow for two years. Michelle holds a B.A. in Political Science and Environmental Science and a minor in French from Miami University. She is admitted to practice law in Virginia and the District of Columbia.