President of the Board of Directors and Legal Director
James Wheaton is President of the Board of Directors and Legal Director of the Environmental Law Foundation and Senior Counsel for the First Amendment Project. He teaches Journalism Law at the Graduate Schools of Journalism at both Stanford and UC Berkeley.
He has been honored for his work with awards by California Lawyer as Attorney of the Year, the Daily Journal as one of its Top 100 Lawyers in California, the Playboy Foundation, the Society of Professional Journalists Northern California Chapter, and the Ecology Law Quarterly.
His political work includes writing and running or chairing campaigns for statewide initiatives in the last 25 years on topics such as insurance regulation, campaign finance and political reform, marijuana legalization, old growth forestry, consumer privacy, and litigation reform.
As a volunteer he is an advisor to the California State Bar’s Environment Section Executive Committee and chaired its Yosemite Environmental Institute. He is a trustee of River Network, and past-President of Friends of the River. He has served as a City of Oakland Public Ethics Commissioner, as Executive Director of California Common Cause, and as chair of the Society of Professional Journalists (NorCal) FOI Committee.
He is a graduate of Brown University and Berkeley Law School. He is a white water rafter and kayaker, trains whitewater guides, skippers a sailboat on San Francisco Bay, and canoes. He has recently retired from seven years of coaching Little League baseball, and still umpires. He has been noted for his work in the San Francisco Bay Guardian, California Lawyer, Playboy, Outside, and Rolling Stone magazines.
Lowell Chow has been with ELF since 2012. Before joining ELF, he was a fellow and then staff attorney at the First Amendment Project, where he represented journalists in obtaining access to government records. Since he joined the ELF team, Lowell’s practice has focused on Proposition 65 enforcement and preserving and protecting California’s water resources. He was named by California Lawyer as one of its 2015 Attorneys of the Year.
He is a photographer, Web developer, and typographer in his spare time—all hobbies stemming from a past life pursuing the creative and technical arts. He is a graduate of Harvard University and the UC Davis School of Law.
Nathaniel Kane joined ELF as a staff attorney in 2014.
Previously, he completed a two-year environmental law fellowship at Shute, Mihaly & Weinberger LLP. There, he represented local governments and nonprofit groups in land use and environmental litigation, including regulatory takings, CEQA, and eminent domain cases.
Mr. Kane graduated cum laude from New York University School of Law in 2011, where he was Executive Editor of the NYU Environmental Law Journal and received a Guarini Fellowship in Land Use and Environmental Law. While at NYU, he interned at the Natural Resource Defense Council’s Santa Monica and New York offices, and at Earthjustice’s Seattle office.
Prior to law school, Mr. Kane worked in the energy field in Portland, Oregon, consulting on cases targeting market manipulation in the electricity markets. He graduated from the University of Pennsylvania magna cum laude in 2006 with a B.A. in environmental studies and politics, philosophy, and economics, and was president of the ski team.
Mr. Kane spends his spare time climbing and backcountry skiing in the Sierra Nevada (and elsewhere).
Operations Director/Legal Administrator
Nicole Feliciano graduated from the University of California Berkeley with a bachelor’s degree in sociology in 2005. Her quest for a socially rewarding way to earn a living led her to ELF. After working for a private law firm for several years, Nicole is proud to support an organization committed to environmental and social justice.