Shalanda Baker

Associate Professor of Law Shalanda H. Baker, faculty advisor to the Environmental Law Program at the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa’s William S. Richardson School of Law, has been selected for a Fulbright award to research the intersections of energy reform, climate change, and indigenous rights issues in Mexico. Her research begins this fall.

Baker, founding director of the Energy Justice Program at the School of Law, will be looking at renewable energy development in Oaxaca, including the ongoing displacement of indigenous communities through the development of wind energy projects.

“Mexico is undergoing an energy transition in which markets are open for the generation of electricity,” said Baker. “This is the first time since 1938 that companies and individuals will have the chance to participate in the energy market.”

“It’s an unprecedented opportunity to look at the impact this transition has on indigenous communities and I’ll be looking for ways they can engage in community energy development,” added Baker. “It’s very much in line with the work I’ve been doing in Hawaiʻi.”

Over the past year, Baker led the Energy Justice Working Group of students at the School of Law who investigated the impact of the potential merger between Hawaiian Electric Industries and NextEra, with an in-depth analysis of reaction among North Shore residents. The Energy Justice Working Group held meetings with community residents and it will soon produce an impact report.

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Baker received her JD from Northeastern University School of Law, her LLM from the University of Wisconsin School of Law and her BS from the U.S. Air Force Academy.

Before joining the UH law school, she worked as a corporate and project finance associate for the law firm of Bingham McCutchen, initially in Boston and later in Japan. She also completed a William H. Hastie Fellowship at the University of Wisconsin Law School. Baker also taught for two years at the University of San Francisco School of Law as an associate professor of law.

—By Beverly Creamer