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Staff Attorney, Southern Environmental Law Center

David Neal is an attorney with the Southern Environmental Law Center in Chapel Hill, North Carolina, where he focuses on energy policy and environmental justice.  Prior to joining SELC, he had a career in indigent criminal defense work. David is the co-founder and former executive director of the Fair Trial Initiative, a non-profit that worked to improve the quality of representation received by people facing the death penalty.  In 2015, he published an  article in Scalawag Magazine exploring his family’s connection to the organized effort to stop North Carolina from complying with the Supreme Court’s decision in Brown v. Board of Education in the 1950s. David serves on the boards of the Z. Smith Reynolds Foundation and Repairers of the Breach.  David has previously served on the boards of the Orange County Commission for the Environment, Common Sense Foundation, NC Conservation Network, and the Proteus Fund.  He completed his undergraduate degree at Oberlin College and law degree at UNC School of Law in Chapel Hill.  Before law school, David worked as a Peace Corps volunteer in Turkmenistan.


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