Commissioner, California Water Commission
California Program Director, Defenders of Wildlife
Year Graduated: 1993
Kim Delfino has been the California Program Director for Defenders of Wildlife since 2000. Before joining Defenders of Wildlife, Kim worked for the U.S. Public Interest Research Group as a staff attorney and for CALPIRG as Legislative Director. She began her career as an associate attorney in Washington, D.C. with the public interest law firm of Meyer & Glitzenstein, where she specialized in cases involving the Endangered Species Act, Clean Water Act and other environmental laws including NEPA.
Kim Delfino holds a B.A. in Political Science, Public Service (Environmental Policy Emphasis) from the University of California-Davis and a J.D., cum laude, from McGeorge School of Law at the University of the Pacific.
Attending Pacific McGeorge helped Kim Delfino, '93, solidify her desire to practice nonprofit environmental law. Delfino has been California program director at Defenders of Wildlife since 2000, when she established the organization's Sacramento office.
She began her law career as an associate attorney at Meyer & Glitzenstein, a public interest law firm in Washington, D.C., litigating cases involving the federal Endangered Species and Clean Water acts. She then became a conservation lobbyist for the U.S. Public Interest Research Group in Washington, where she worked on an effort to protect roadless areas in national forests, including 4.4 million acres in California.
Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger appointed her to the California Water Commission in 2010. When she moved back to Sacramento more than a decade ago, she made giving back to her alma mater a priority.
Pacific McGeorge, Delfino says, is an asset to the Sacramento region partly because of its strong ties to the community. McGeorge produces "practical, practice-ready attorneys, people who can start working as a lawyer from day one," she says. She cites the Educational Pipeline program that introduces low-income high school students to legal careers.
In addition to giving financial support to the law school, she volunteers extensively. She is a vice president of the Alumni Association Board. She speaks at career days and continues to support the annual Pacific McGeorge Public Legal Student Services annual auction this year (an event she started as a student).