Press Release | October 27, 2011

SELC Announces Anne Davis to Launch and Lead SELC’s New Nashville Office

he Southern Environmental Law Center (SELC) is pleased to announce that Anne Davis, senior litigator and active community citizen, will join SELC this fall as the managing attorney of its new Tennessee Office.

This nonprofit, non-partisan organization has a unique and focused mission: use the power of the law to protect the environment of the Southeast (TN, VA, NC, SC, GA, and AL).  Tennessee is currently the only one of their six focus states without an SELC office.

Delta Anne Davis, a Tennessee native, graduated from Vanderbilt Law School and, after a federal clerkship, practiced civil and criminal litigation with two of Nashville’s leading law firms: Bass, Berry & Sims; and Neal & Harwell. In recent years, Anne has been a part-time law professor at Vanderbilt.  Actively involved in the Nashville community, Anne Davis is known for her strong environmental interest.  She received the 2011 Tennessee Environmental Council Sustainable Tennessee award, along with her husband, Karl Dean, who was recently re-elected to a second term as Mayor of Nashville.

“The Southern Environmental Law Center has done a lot of great work in Tennessee over the years, deploying legal and policy experts from our eight other offices,” says SELC Founder and Executive Director Rick Middleton, “But our experience has proven that there’s no substitute for permanent local presence.  Having Anne at the helm of our office in Nashville will give SELC the added capacity and flexibility that we need to really get the job done in this state.”

Clean Energy and healthy air, clean water, and the closely related issues of transportation and land-use reform are, and will remain, top priorities for SELC’s Tennessee team-along with championing the Cherokee National Forest, Cumberland Plateau, and other pristine natural treasures.

“I am honored by the opportunity to join a group of this caliber.  The Southern Environmental Law Center is focused on a healthy, sustainable future for the entire Southeast region, and all of their efforts are geared toward making that happen,” Davis said.  “Their mission fits perfectly with what our community is doing to make Nashville a thriving, livable ‘green’ city.  There are a lot of important, urgent environmental opportunities here and throughout Tennessee, and I can’t wait to get started.”

The Southern Environmental Law Center comes to Nashville with a winning track record.  Their past institutional accomplishments include a unanimous victory for clean air in the U.S. Supreme Court; added protection for two million acres of Southern Appalachian national forest; and eight million acres of high-quality southern wetlands brought under federal protection for the first time.
“SELC is a welcome addition to the Tennessee environmental community,” said Jean Nelson, Executive Director of the Land Trust for Tennessee and SELC board member. “Their approach is based on partnerships.  Having their law and policy expertise and region-wide perspective to draw on will definitely strengthen the collective conservation efforts in our state.”

“For the almost 20 years that I have been affiliated with SELC, I have been consistently impressed by what this group is able to achieve,” said Nashville businessman and philanthropist, Martin S. Brown, Sr.  “To me, the real secret to SELC’s success is their people.  They attract absolutely top-quality lawyers with the most impressive credentials, who want to dedicate their skills and talents to protecting the air we breathe, the water we drink, and the landscapes that we all love. Anne fits this profile, and we are all looking forward to seeing the results of her leadership and the impact of SELC’s new Nashville office.”

Are you a reporter and would like more information? Please visit our press contact page for a full list of SELC’s press contacts.