Renée   Martin-Nagle pittsburgh

Renée Martin-Nagle

Special Counsel


Renée Martin-Nagle divides her energies between the firm’s nationally-recognized aviation practice and the environmental law practice.

She joins Eckert Seamans after serving as CEO and President of A Ripple Effect plc, a consultancy focused on international water law and integrated water resources management services. Her work at A Ripple Effect included designing a sustainability program for a major U.S. airline, producing an analysis of sustainability initiatives at smaller U.S. airports for the U.S. Airport Cooperative Research Program, drafting the official synopses of international water conferences in Bonn and Abu Dhabi for OOSKAnews, and developing summaries of water laws in Nigeria, Mongolia, Bangladesh, Somalia, Zambia, and Ghana for the Center for Water Security and Cooperation. She has taught international environmental law and policy at the University of Pittsburgh School of Law and the University of Strathclyde in Glasgow, Scotland. She is currently teaching international environmental policy as an adjunct professor at St. Francis University.

Prior to her environmental career, Renée served for more than 20 years at Airbus Americas, retiring in 2011 as Vice President, General Counsel, Chief Compliance Officer, Head of Environmental Affairs, Corporate Secretary, and a member of the board of directors. While at Airbus, she designed and implemented policies, programs, and training concerning corporate compliance, lobbying, document management, export-import regulations, business ethics, environmental issues, and social media. She acted as sole Airbus lawyer in numerous, highly complex sales contracts, led a team that developed and implemented an ISO 14001 program in North America, and established formal and informal environmental programs at all U.S. facilities. Among her many aviation sector activities, Renée served as chair of the American Bar Association Forum on Air and Space Law. She was honored with the 2014 Aviation Industry Woman of Excellence Award by the International Aviation Women’s Association.

Renée focuses her environmental and sustainability work on freshwater, with a particular emphasis on the governance and hydrogeology of groundwater aquifers, ecosystem protection, and interspecies equity. She has published books and articles on these topics, and reviewers have called her 2020 book, Governance of Offshore Freshwater Resources, “ground-breaking,” “important,” and “creative.” She has given presentations on water-related topics at the IWRA World Water Congress, Stockholm World Water Week, International Association of Hydrogeologists Congress, American Water Resources Association Groundwater Conference, World Bank Law, Justice and Development Week, Dundee International Law and Transboundary Freshwaters Workshop, International Law Students Association Jessup Moot Court competition, and London Water Research Group Hydro-Hegemony Conference.

Professional Affiliations

  • Elected to the board of directors of The Groundwater Project, a Canadian non-profit whose mission is to raise global awareness of groundwater
  • Appointed by the Chinese Ministry of Water Resources as the Co-Chair of the International Scientific Committee (ISC) of the International Water Resources Association’s World Water Congress
  • Expert Reviewer for the Draft Synthesis Report (SYR) of the IPCC Sixth Assessment Report (AR6)
  • Delegate to the Water and Climate Pavilion of the 26th UN Climate Change Conference
  • Affiliate of the International Water Law Academy at Wuhan University
  • Environmental Law Institute, Visiting Scholar, 2011-present
  • International Water Resources Association, Board Member and Treasurer, 2016-present
  • American Bar Association International Environmental Law Committee of the Section of International Law, Co-Chair 2014-2015; Program Co-Chair 2013-2014
  • American Bar Association Forum on Air & Space Law, Chair 2009-2011; Governing Committee 2004 to 2013; Executive Committee 2013-present; Co-chair of Sustainability Committee 2020-present
  • Omega Institute, Board Member, Secretary and Treasurer, 2009-2014
  • Chesapeake Legal Alliance, Board Member and Secretary, 2011-2014
  • International Aviation Women’s Association, Advisory Board Member, 2007 – 2011
  • Aero Club of Washington, Board Member, 2007-2009
  • Women in Aviation, International, Board Member and Secretary, 1999-2005
  • OFII General Counsel Conference, Co-Chair, 1999, 2000, 2009, 2010

Community Involvement

  • Johnstown Symphony Orchestra, Board of Trustees
  • Mount Aloysius College, Board Member and Vice-Chair, 2017-present
  • Municipal Authority of Ebensburg, PA, Board Member, 2018-present
  • Southern Alleghenies Museum of Art, Gala Committee, 2020

News Releases:

Former Chief Legal Officer of Airbus Americas and Environmental Scholar Renée Martin-Nagle Joins Eckert Seamans

Awards and Recognition:

  • Appointed by the International Water Resources Association and the Chinese Ministry of Water Resources as the co-chair of the international scientific committee of the International Water Resources Association’s World Water Congress
  • George Washington University Environmental and Energy Law Program: Distinguished Alumna, 2019
  • International Aviation Woman’s Association: Aviation Industry Woman of Excellence Award, 2014
  • Mount Aloysius College: Distinguished Alumna, 2010
  • Women in Aerospace: Aerospace Awareness Award, 2007
  • Saint Francis University: Distinguished Alumna, 2006
  • Women in Aviation: International Volunteer of the Year, 1998

News and Insights





  • “Entangling science and spirituality,” Tiferet 10, Summer 2016.

Media Coverage

News Releases

Speaking Engagements


  • “From the UN Water Conference to an Enabling Policy Environment for Water Stewardship,” presented to the Alliance for Water Stewardship Global Water Stewardship Forum, Edinburgh, Scotland, May 16, 2023.
  • Program Moderator, “Water-Economy-Ecology Nexus in a changing environment: A roadmap from New York to Beijing to Bali,” 2023 United Nations Water Conference, March 23, 2023.
  • Program Moderator, “Global Corporates and Innovative Multistakeholder Approaches for SDG6.1,” co-sponsored by Accenture and Veolia, March 21, 2023.
  • Program Moderator, Emerging Pollutants: Protecting Water Quality for the Health of People and the Environment, co-sponsored by UNESCO and IWRA, January 17-19, 2023. 
  • “Adaptation and flexibility in the context of groundwater governance and the SDGs – the case of food security,” rapporteur for a session at the UN-Water Summit on Groundwater, co-sponsored by UNESCO and IGRAC, December 6, 2022. 
  • “Don’t Waste Time: Managing Sanitation Systems to Protect Groundwater,” webinar moderator, International Water Resources Association, November 2022. 
  • “Governance of OFG: Which law applies?” International Workshop on Offshore Freshened Groundwater, L-Università ta’ Malta, June 2022.
  • “Global Water Security Issues: Management and Techniques for Reliable Groundwater Access”, International Water Resources Association, June 2022.
  • “Governance of OFG: Which law applies?” International Workshop on Offshore Freshened Groundwater, L-Università ta’ Malta, 28 June 2022.
  • “Peering into the Crystal Ball: The Future of Water,” webinar moderator, hosted by International Water Resources Association, February 2022.
  • “Achieving cooperation in development of transboundary offshore aquifers by using science to define their boundaries and volume”, ISARM2021: 2nd International Conference on Transboundary Aquifers: Challenges and the way forward, December 2021.
  • “Unconventional Water Resources” and “Offshore Freshened Groundwater: Resources for Climate Change Resiliency,” presented at the UN Climate Change Conference in Scotland, October 2021. 
  • “2021 Online Conference,” host of the opening and closing ceremonies, International Water Resources Association, June 2021.
  • “The Future of International Water Governance,” virtual panel moderator, March 23, 2021. 
  • Guest lecturer on environmental justice and water at Glasgow-Caledonian University in Scotland, March 2021. 
  • “Balancing Covid-19, the economy and the environment,” Earth Day Town Hall webinar for Lindsay Drew and Brittney Rodas for PA State Representatives, April 2020.
  • “Unconventional Water Resources” for International Water Resources Association webinar Water and Climate Change, March 2020. 
  • “International water law: Adapting to new technologies,” World Bank Law, Justice and Development Week, Washington DC, November 2019.
  • “Transboundary offshore freshwater, Which law will apply?” American Water Resources Association conference on the Science, Management and Governance of Transboundary Groundwater, Fort Worth, Texas, July 2018.
  • “Governance of offshore freshwater resources,” International Union for the Conservation of Nature Academy of Environmental Law Colloquium, Glasgow UK, July 2018.
  • “Offshore freshwater: The ultimate connector,” University of Glasgow Connections Conference, May 2018.
  • “Offshore hydrocarbon development: Lessons for water,” World Water Congress, Cancún, Mexico, June 2017.
  • “Integrating Environmental Concerns in International Water Law,” World Water Congress, Cancún, Mexico, May 2017.
  • “Offshore freshwater: Governing a new resource,” IODP-ICDP Workshop, Woods Hole Institute MA, May 2017.
  • “Offshore Aquifers: Governing a New Resource,” University of Strathclyde Environmental Law Colloquium, Glasgow UK, May 2017.
  • “Bulk Water Transfers: Problem or Solution,” Texas A&M School of Law, March 2017.
  • “Transboundary Aquifer Governance,” International Law Students Association, New York NY, October 2016. 
  • “Offshore Aquifers: An Answer to Water Scarcity?” International Association of Hydrogeologists, Montpellier, France, September 2016.
  • “Bulk Water Transfers: Problem or Solution?” Stockholm World Water Week, August 2016.
  • “Integrated Water Resources Management,” panel moderator, World Water Day, Dundee UK, March 2016.
  • “Global Water Law,” Engineers Without Borders, Glasgow UK, November 2015.
  • “Virtual Water,” London Water Research Group Hydro Hegemony Conference, London UK, October 2015.
  • “International Law and Transboundary Aquifers,” International Law and Transboundary Freshwaters Workshop, University of Dundee Centre for Water Law, Policy and Science, July 2015.
  • “Bulk Water Transfers,” “Transboundary Aquifer Management: Does One Size Fit All?” and “Climate Change and Aquifers: Adaptive Governance,” World Water Congress, Edinburgh UK, May 2015.
  • “UN Watercourses Convention,” ABA Section of International Law, New York NY, April 2014.
  • “Global Water Law,” University of Pittsburgh, November 2014.
  • “Competition for Water Resources,” aquaNOW, Oban, Scotland, October 2014. 
  • “Sustainable Water Governance,” panel moderator, World Bank Law, Justice and Development Week, Washington DC, November 2013.
  • “Interspecies Equity: Apportioning Water Fairly,” Stockholm World Water Week, September 2013.
  • “Sustainable Development in Southeast Asia: A River Runs through It,” American University, Washington DC, March 2013.


  • “Net-Zero Carbon Emissions by 2050: Progress and Challengers,” panel moderator for the ABA Forum on Air and Space Law Update Conference, February 2023.
  • “Doing a lot with a little: Sustainability at smaller US airports,” Embry-Riddle University Aviation Law and Insurance Symposium, Orlando FL, January 2015.
  • From Emissions to De-Icing: Aviation’s Impact on the Environment,” keynote speech, Aviation Law and Insurance Symposium, Orlando, FL, January 2014.
  • “Aviation and the Environment,” Duquesne University Law School, October 2013.


  • “The Challenges of Sustainable International Investment in Energy and Climate Change: How to achieve Reconstruction of Ukraine and Lessons Learned for Sustainable Investment” presented at the 2023 American Society of International Law (ASIL) midyear meeting, November 2023. 
  • “Following your North Star,” keynote address to the graduating class of Mount Aloysius College, May 2022. 
  • “Mentoring,” a presentation to the Lockheed Martin Women’s Impact Network, February 2022. 
  • “Getting to Net Zero: Decarbonizing International Aviation and Shipping”, ABA Environment, Energy and Resources Section, December 2021.
  • What to expect from the Biden Administration and the 117th Congress relating to environmental regulation and legislation,” presenter to The New England Council’s 2021 Environmental Policy Outlook panel discussion, February 2, 2021. 
  • “Power in Passion,” Lockheed Martin Women’s Impact Network, Herndon VA, January 2020.
  • “My Story,” podcast for Second Story, December 2019.
  • “Empowering moments,” keynote speech, Women’s Empowerment Day, Mount Aloysius College, Cresson PA, October 2019.
  • “A constitution for the planet: What would it look like?” Constitution Day, Saint Francis College, Loretto PA, September 2019.
  • “Finding Your Passion,” Mount Aloysius College Commencement, Cresson PA, December 2018.
  • “Be Bold for Change,” Airbus Americas, Herndon VA, March 2017.
  • “Cross-generational Mentoring,” Woman of Excellence Award acceptance speech, International Aviation Women’s Association, Seattle WA, October 2014.
  • “Flying through Turbulence: My Journey from Coal Country to the Water World,” University of Pittsburgh School of Law, October 2013.
  • “Finding Home in a Changing World,” Mount Aloysius College, Cresson PA, April 2013.
  • “Climate Change and Trade Options,” Georgetown Law School, Washington DC, November 2012.


Growing up on 20 acres in the Laurel Highlands of Pennsylvania infused Renée with a love of nature at an early age, but she was also born with a quest for adventure, which has led her to visit 44 states and more than 40 countries on six continents. Her first career in aviation law provided a professional home, a close community of colleagues, and opportunities to indulge her quest for travel. The births of her two grandsons inspired her to shift her focus to preserving the environment and its resources for future generations, and a desire to prevent and resolve conflicts over the most vital of all resources caused her to select freshwater governance as a specialty. When not researching environmental issues, astrophysics, and quantum mechanics, Renée enjoys volunteering, mentoring, gardening, writing, hiking, and connecting with friends and family, including her daughter Tanya, son-in-law Justin, and grandsons Nate and Ben. Earlier interests that may make a comeback include rock climbing, skiing, sailing, photography, sewing, rollerblading, cycling, salsa, running, and swimming.