A member of the Washington, D.C. bar, Lisa’s academic background has focused on environmental law, public international law, and Law of the Sea.
Her doctoral dissertation, Legally Sanctioned Stakeholder Engagement in Marine Governance: A New Paradigm for Social License as a Path to Ocean Sustainability, focuses on the decisions reached about uses of the marine space and the processes utilized to reach them.
She differentiates between civic stakeholders having a voice and having a say in those decisions via her novel concept of a social license to engage.
Investigating the relationship between community involvement and project acceptance, her research considers whether embedding community engagement in marine governance can reduce conflict and allow development of positive social license to operate.
She is creating an operational model for participatory decision-making related to marine uses when governmental duties of care have high risk of being breached by proposed marine activities under a standard of prevention. The public trust doctrine serves as her source of legal basis for governance of the marine commons, while elements of free, prior and informed consent (FPIC) provide the standard for civic stakeholder participation.