Henry R. Darwin


Henry R. Darwin

Environmental lawyer Henry Darwin is valued for creating mutually beneficial agreements between government and private business. Henry serves as a catalyst for private sector clients in understanding the government when it comes to complex and/or difficult environmental issues and in realizing the right result. Because many companies have myriad environmental issues over the course of the business lifecycle, Henry is particularly appreciated for win/win negotiations that also preserve the longer-term relationship with the agency.

Having spent 25+ years of service in government, with the last ten years in senior executive leadership at state and federal levels, Henry delivers an undeniably deep bench of state and federal environmental law and agency know-how. As the former Director of the Arizona Department of Environmental Quality (ADEQ) and as the Acting Deputy Administrator and Chief Operating Officer (COO) of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), Henry is best known nation-wide for striking the right balance between economic development and environmental protection. Notably, Henry negotiated the largest environmental settlement in Arizona and was involved in many of the most important environmental issues, settlements, and cost recovery efforts as a government lawyer.

As EPA’s COO, Henry led a comprehensive effort to improve EPA’s operations in its headquarters and ten regional offices. Henry also performed the official duties of the EPA Deputy Administrator, which expanded his responsibilities to include implementation of White House initiatives related to the reform of environmental regulations. In addition, Henry served as the COO for the State of Arizona, where he oversaw the operations of all 35 state agencies and their 35,000 employees.

Before being tapped by Governor Ducey to be the State’s COO, Henry was the only Director of ADEQ to have previously worked in all three of its major media programs (Air, Water, and Waste). While Director, Henry represented Arizona in response to EPA’s aggressive regulatory agenda, including the Clean Power Plan. By all accounts, Arizona went from being the most harshly treated state in EPA’s proposed rule to being the best treated in the final rule – as a direct result of Henry’s advocacy. In 2015, Henry was named the “Environmental Public Policy Leader of the Year” by the Arizona Capital Times.

Henry’s unique experience within government prior to private practice means he already knows how government operates and brings an extensive network of state and federal agency relationships to every client he serves. Having worked as an insider for decades, Henry knows the critical hot button issues agencies face, including what to say and not to say when interacting with government officials at all levels. As a result, Henry provides strategic advice that is practical and effectual, as well as ultimately government relationship affirming.

Henry is among the most experienced lawyers practicing today at the intersection where government and business environmental concerns intersect. A multi-generational Arizona native who believes in community and people at the core, Henry is passionate about the state and the region, and in realizing the balance between protecting commerce and the environment in tandem. Henry has proven time and again that he is a skilled problem solver and consensus builder in times of both recession and boom and throughout major shifts of political perspective.

Bar & Court Admissions

  • Arizona, 1996

Associations & Memberships

  • National Academy of Public Administrators, Member
  • Phoenix Business Journal’s ACE Awards Sponsor, Interview Team Member, 2022

Honors & Awards

  • Arizona Business Magazine, Top 100 Lawyers in Arizona, 2022

Community & Philanthropy

  • United Food Bank, Pro Bono Volunteer