DC Staff

Washington, D.C. Staff

Jeff Ruch has been the Executive Director of PEER since 1997. With Jeff DeBonis, he helped to start PEER and for its first four years served as General Counsel & Program Director. Prior to that Jeff was the Policy Director and a staff attorney at the Government Accountability Project representing whistleblowers from both the public and private sector. Before coming to DC, Jeff worked in California state government for 17 years, mostly in the State Legislature as counsel to various committees where he drafted literally hundreds of laws on topics ranging from energy conservation to the rights of employed inventors. Jeff served stints as a deputy district attorney, an appellate court clerk and is a graduate of the California Correctional Officers Academy. jruch[at]peer.org

Paula Dinerstein is PEER’s Senior Counsel and an attorney with 18 years of experience. She received her law degree from the George Washington University National Law Center. Prior to joining PEER, she clerked for a federal district court judge in Washington DC and then practiced with small public-interest oriented law firms. Her work included representation of States and advocacy groups in energy and environmental matters, including recovery for overcharges by oil companies for use in state energy conservation programs, challenges to EPA pesticide registrations, challenges to hydroelectric licenses, and litigation concerning regulations which weakened the federal organic food standards. pdinerstein[at]peer.org

Kirsten Stade is PEER's Advocacy Director. Since the late 90s she has worked on campaigns targeting extractive industries on public lands, and has published research with WildEarth Guardians on the impacts of livestock grazing on fire ecology and ecosystem health in the American west. She has a Master's degree in Conservation Biology from Columbia University and a Bachelor's in Earth Systems from Stanford University. Kirsten enjoys training and grooming dogs, and volunteers with animal rescue groups in the Washington, DC area. She lives with her partner and a growing number of rescued dogs in Takoma Park, MD. kstade[at]peer.org

Laura Dumais is PEER's Staff Counsel. She graduated first in her class from Vermont Law School, where she focused on environmental law.  Laura holds a Masters from the University of Michigan’s School of Natural Resources and Environment.  Prior to her work with PEER, she clerked for the Vermont Superior Court’s Environmental Division, a unique court with statewide jurisdiction over environmental and land use matters, including conflicts arising under Vermont’s landmark Act 250.  She also interned for Judge Peter Hall at the Second Circuit Court of Appeals and worked for various nonprofit organizations, including the Institute for Energy and the Environment and the Environmental Working Group.  Laura spent several years teaching college level Italian and has directed five theatrical productions.  She enjoys gardening, ballroom dance, and cake decorating. ldumais[at]peer.org