Sambhav Sankar

Senior Vice President of Programs

Sambhav Sankar Earthjustice’s Senior Vice President for Programs.

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Senior Director of Public Affairs and Program Communications

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Sam Sankar is Earthjustice’s Senior Vice President for Programs. Sam leads our Program Leadership Team, which develops Earthjustice’s strategy for carrying out our mission through litigation, lobbying and regulatory advocacy, and communications.

Sam has been working on environmental issues throughout his career, which has included service as a line attorney at the Justice Department’s Environment and Natural Resources Division, as a senior executive at General Electric, and as deputy chief counsel of a presidential commission formed to investigate the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill. He has also worked as a boat captain, machinist, and senior advisor to The Nature Conservancy.

Sam received his B.S. in civil engineering from Cornell University, an M.S. in environmental engineering from Stanford University, and his law degree from the University of California, Berkeley. After law school, he clerked for Judge William Fletcher of the Ninth Circuit, Judge Louis Pollak of the Eastern District of Pennsylvania, and Justice Sandra Day O’Connor of the U.S. Supreme Court.

Sam lives in Washington, D.C., with his wife and two children.

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The Latest by Sambhav Sankar

United States Supreme Court (front row L-R) Associate Justice Sonia Sotomayor, Associate Justice Clarence Thomas, Chief Justice of the United States John Roberts, Associate Justice Samuel Alito, and Associate Justice Elena Kagan, (back row L-R) Associate Justice Amy Coney Barrett, Associate Justice Neil Gorsuch, Associate Justice Brett Kavanaugh and Associate Justice Ketanji Brown Jackson pose for their official portrait at the East Conference Room of the Supreme Court building on October 7, 2022 in Washington, DC. The Supreme Court has begun a new term after Associate Justice Ketanji Brown Jackson was officially added to the bench in September.
September 26, 2023

Here’s What to Expect From the Supreme Court This Term

Recent environmental rulings from the Supreme Court’s conservative supermajority have revealed a dangerous agenda, but we still have strong legal tools to protect people and the planet.
A California spotted owl perches on a tree
March 24, 2023

Protecting the Sierra Species

The California spotted owl is the last of four native Sierra Nevada species to receive Endangered Species Act protection in the culmination of a 30-year legal fight.
A few hundred supporters of clean water rallied outside the Supreme Court on Oct. 3, 2022, as the court heard oral arguments in Sackett v. EPA.
February 23, 2023

Justices’ Clean Water Act Queries Hint At Search For Balance

At oral argument in Sackett v. EPA, some justices struggled to square simplistic industry arguments with science and common sense.
Workers install solar panels on a parking structure at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory in Golden, Colorado.
August 19, 2022

The Inflation Reduction Act is the Biggest Climate Investment in History. The Fight Doesn’t Stop Here.

We must work to secure the positive potential of the IRA’s investments and prevent new fossil fuel subsidies from harming communities that have already suffered too much.

Fire boat response crews battle the blazing remnants of the offshore oil rig Deepwater Horizon.
April 20, 2022

Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill Anniversary Is a Grave Reminder of Why Not to Trust the Oil Industry

The only thing we can truly trust this industry to do is fight to preserve its business model and secure profits for its shareholders.
The U.S. Supreme Court building in Washington, D.C.
March 23, 2022

The Earth Needs Good Judges. Here’s What That Means.

3 questions to ask about any judicial nominee.
A coal-fired power plant.
March 16, 2022

A Hostile Supreme Court Threatens Environmental Progress

The court’s ‘Major Questions’ doctrine could block regulators from protecting species or tackling climate change.
Sambhav Sankar is Earthjustice's Senior Vice President for Programs.
November 17, 2021

How an Environmental Lawyer Stays Motivated to Fight the Climate Crisis

Sambhav Sankar, Earthjustice’s senior VP of programs, shares his perspective on what environmental litigation can achieve.
Smoke billows from controlled oil burns near the site of the BP Deepwater Horizon oil spill in June 2010.
October 15, 2021

I Investigated the Deepwater Horizon Disaster. When Will We Learn From Our Mistakes?

As we find ourselves in the grip of another catastrophe, it’s worth reflecting on how the nation and the oil industry responded to the Deepwater Horizon disaster.
U.S. Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts and Associate Justices Elena Kagan, Neil Gorsuch and Brett Kavanaugh in the House chamber for the State of the Union address on February 4, 2020 in Washington, D.C.
June 22, 2021

‘Conflicts Checks’ and Biden’s Judicial Appointees

Will Biden follow through on his promise to rebalance the federal bench? Here’s what to watch for.
An EPA contractor collects a water sample from the site of a coal ash spill on the Dan River in North Carolina.
April 28, 2021

Making the Law More Than Words on a Page

Environmental enforcement is environmental protection.
Robert F. Kennedy Department of Justice Building
March 16, 2021

You’ve Probably Never Heard of This DOJ Division, but It’s Key to Rebuilding Our Environmental Policy

The Biden administration has selected their nominee for AAG of ENRD at DOJ. Here's what that means.
Photo of judge Amy Coney Barrett
September 25, 2020

The Planet Cannot Afford a Risky Choice for the Supreme Court

We need Justices who will make sure our courts remain a place where science and the law beat corruption and privilege.
Amy Coney Barrett, una jueza incondicionalmente conservadora de la Corte de Apelaciones del Séptimo Circuito, ha sido seleccionada por Trump para reemplazar a la recién fallecida jueza Ruth Bader Ginsburg con un proceso de confirmación acelerado del Senad
September 25, 2020

El Planeta No Puede Permitirse Una Elección Arriesgada Para La Corte Suprema

Necesitamos jueces que garanticen que nuestras cortes sean lugares donde la ciencia y la ley venzan la corrupción y los privilegios.
Photo of people gathered at a makeshift memorial for late Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg on the steps of the Supreme Court building in Washington, D.C., on September 18, 2020.
September 22, 2020

What the Environment Needs in a Supreme Court Justice

As we mourn the loss of Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, we must sadly also prepare for a contentious debate over her replacement.