Keynote Address



Friday, May 24.

Robert F. Kennedy, Jr.

Everyman’s champion, Time magazine calls Kennedy one of the “Heroes for the Planet.” Bobby fights to protect our air, water, fisheries, wildlife and the public lands that connect us to our past and give context to our communities that are the source of our values, virtues and character as a people.

Bobby founded Waterkeeper Alliance to empower 137 local Waterkeeper programs who defend local waterways from polluters. Waterkeeper Alliance provides legal, scientific, and organizational resources to ensure effective and democratic vehicles for citizens to protect their most precious resource – water. Grassroots activism at its finest.  

He is the Chief the Prosecuting Attorney for Riverkeeper, whose mission is to safeguard the ecological integrity of the Hudson River, its tributaries and the watershed of New York City (protecting the city's drinking water supply) by tracking down and stopping polluters. Since 1983, Riverkeeper has investigated and brought to justice more than 300 environmental lawbreakers. 

Mr. Kennedy is one of the staunchest defenders of our democracy and our American values. A leader, a visionary, and a deeply respected man his work is an inspiration and his life a testament to the common good. His ideas help shape and define the national debate.

He is a graduate of Harvard University. He studied at the London School of Economics and received his law degree from the University of Virginia Law School. Following graduation he attended Pace University School of Law, where he was awarded a Masters Degree in Environmental Law.

Among Mr. Kennedy's published books are the New York Times’ bestseller Crimes Against Nature (2004), St. Francis of Assisi: A Life of Joy (2005), The Riverkeepers (1997), and Judge Frank M. Johnson, Jr: A Biography (1977). His articles have appeared in The New York Times, The Washington Post, Los Angeles Times, The Wall Street Journal, Newsweek, Rolling Stone, Atlantic Monthly, Esquire, The Nation, Outside Magazine, The Village Voice, and many other publications. His award winning articles have been included in anthologies of America’s Best Crime Writing, Best Political Writing and Best Science Writing.

He is the third of eleven children born to Ethel Kennedy and Robert F. Kennedy and is the nephew of President John F. Kennedy.