Sad news from ELAW

I am writing with very difficult news — we recently lost a beloved member of the ELAW US team. ELAW Law Associate Killian Doherty passed away on February 23 at the age of 37. Killian had been fighting a rare and aggressive cancer since late 2019. He put up a brave fight — working full time with ELAW and spending time with family and friends in-between treatments.

Unfortunately, his condition worsened rapidly in late February, and his family brought him to spend his final days surrounded by loved ones at his favorite place on earth, Lake Crescent on the Olympic Peninsula.

People from the Wayúu Indigenous group in Colombia and colleagues in Peru planted trees in the Amazon in Killian’s memory.

Killian was a beloved member of the team at ELAW, where he used his legal skills to collaborate with lawyers around the world protecting communities and the environment. Killian was passionate about defending the rights of Indigenous communities and enjoyed collaborating with Indigenous lawyers. Killian spoke Spanish and Portuguese and worked closely with partners across Latin America. Killian worked tirelessly for justice and made a lasting impact. His absence is felt deeply by the ELAW team and the many close friends that he made through his work around the world.

At the request of Killian’s family, and with a generous gift from them, we have established The Killian Doherty Legacy Fund, which will support a Killian Doherty Law Fellowship position at ELAW to continue Killian’s work by empowering law students and new lawyers to pursue a career protecting communities and ecosystems around the world.

To make a contribution in memory of Killian, please:


We are heartbroken, and committed to carrying Killian forward in our hearts, minds, and actions.



Bern Johnson
Executive Director
Environmental Law Alliance Worldwide