A global expert on water and natural resources, Barton “Buzz” Thompson, JD/MBA ’76 (BA ’72) focuses on how to improve resource management through legal, institutional, and technological innovation. He was the founding Perry L. McCarty Director of the Stanford Woods Institute for the Environment, where he remains a Senior Fellow and directs the Water in the West program. He also is a Professor of Environmental Behavioral Sciences in the Stanford Doerr School of Sustainability. He has been a Senior Fellow (by courtesy) at Stanford’s Freeman-Spogli Institute for International Studies, and a visiting fellow at the Hoover Institution. He founded the law school’s Environmental and Natural Resources Program.
Professor Thompson served as Special Master for the United States Supreme Court in Montana v. Wyoming, an interstate water dispute involving the Yellowstone River system. He also is a former member of the Science Advisory Board of the United States Environmental Protection Agency. He chairs the boards of the Resources Legacy Fund and the Stanford Habitat Conservation Board and is a California trustee of The Nature Conservancy.
Professor Thompson is of counsel to the law firm of O’Melveny & Myers, where he specializes in water resources and was a partner prior to joining Stanford Law School. He also serves as an advisor to a major impact investment fund. He was a law clerk to Chief Justice William H. Rehnquist ’52 (BA ’48, MA ’48) of the U.S. Supreme Court and Judge Joseph T. Sneed of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit.