Chris Green was the first Executive Director of the Brooks McCormick Jr. Animal Law & Policy Program. He currently is the Executive Director for the Animal Legal Defense Fund. Prior to returning to Harvard Chris established ALDF’s Legislative Affairs Program and served as the former Chair of the American Bar Association’s TIPS Animal Law Committee. In those capacities, Chris persuaded the top three US airlines to stop transporting endangered animal hunting trophies, stopped SeaWorld San Diego from breeding or importing new orcas, helped defeat Ag-Gag legislation in several states, and successfully passed an ABA resolution recommending that all US legislative bodies outlaw the possession of dangerous wild animals. In 2022, Chris was honored with the American Bar Association’s award for Excellence in the Advancement of Animal Law.
Chris has served on the Board of the National Center for Animal Law, was an advisor to the National Canine Research Council, and is a member of the American Veterinary Medical Law Association. Chris also was a member of the California Veterinary Medical Association’s Non-Economic Recovery Task Force, helping explore legislative options to balance the profession’s increasing liability exposure with a more equitable assessment of companion animal value. He later acted as an advisor to members of the American Veterinary Medical Association’s Task Force on the Legal Status of Animals, addressing those same legislative issues at a national level.
More recently, Chris served on a National Academies of Sciences committee assessing the Department of Veterans Affairs’ use of dogs in biomedical research. He then helped author the Committee’s consensus report which found most of that research to be “unnecessary.” In 2020, to reduce the number of family pets shot by police, Chris also authored and passed another ABA resolution urging that all law enforcement officers be provided comprehensive training in non-lethal animal encounters. Chris earlier had been the Executive Producer of the 2015 documentary film Of Dogs and Men focusing on that same issue.
Chris is an alumnus of Harvard Law School and as a student took Harvard’s first course in Animal Rights Law. He then served as an officer of the HLS Student Animal Legal Defense Fund when the Bob Barker Endowment for the Study of Animal Rights was established. In 2004, Green wrote “The Future of Veterinary Malpractice Liability in the Care of Companion Animals,” which was published in the 10th Anniversary Issue of the Animal Law Review. That same year Chris won First Prize at the inaugural National Animal Advocacy Competition, an event he later judged for several years. Chris then worked closely with his former HLS instructor Steven Wise on the pioneering law review article applying habeas corpus to chimpanzees that helped establish the theoretical underpinnings for the current work of the Nonhuman Rights Project.
Chris has consulted on animal legal issues for CNN, ABC News, CBS News, NBC News, NPR, Headline News, POLITICO, Vice News, The Atlantic, Bloomberg News, Fortune, Harper’s, Huffington Post, Medium, Science Magazine, Smart Money Magazine, The Chicago Tribune, New York Times, San Francisco Chronicle, Wall Street Journal, Washington Post, and Vox. Green is a 4th-generation graduate of the University of Illinois where he created the school’s first Environmental Science degree, and still manages a farm that has remained in his family for 184 straight years. Chris also spent several decades working in the fine arts, film, and music industries.
Below are publications that are representative of Chris Green’s work, a selection of news related to his work with the Program, and media stories in which he has been mentioned or quoted.
Resolution on animal training for police passes
The American Bar Association has adopted a Resolution urging legislation to provide police animal encounter training in order to reduce the unnecessary use of lethal force against animals—which also harms families, police officers themselves, and innocent bystanders caught in the crossfire. The Resolution was drafted by the Animal Law & Policy Program’s Executive Director, Chris Green, who presented it to the full 600-member House of Delegates.