Board of Directors

Gerson H. Smoger, JD, PhD

For over three decades, Gerson H. Smoger, JD, PhD has worked both within the U.S. and internationally on behalf of people suffering from systemic, neurological, and cognitive injuries as a result of exposure to toxic chemicals, including various pesticides, herbicides, dioxin, lead, tobacco, and Agent Orange. He received the Public Justice Foundation’s national Trial Lawyer of the Year Award for his work fighting for the lead-contaminated children of Herculaneum, the location of North America’s largest lead smelter. As an appellate attorney, he has often worked at the intersection between law and medicine, including filing U.S. Supreme Court briefs on behalf of PHR, the New England Journal of Medicine, the AMA, and a variety of U.S. Senators, among many others. He represented Admiral Zumwalt and the Agent Orange Coordinating Council in getting benefits for Vietnam veterans for Agent Orange exposure and has been named Missouri Environmentalist of the Year. In 2023, the American Association for Justice honored him with their Harry Philo Award for outstanding contributions to the civil justice system and advancing the safety and protection of American consumers.

Dr. Smoger began his legal career working in the area of international human rights. In addition to serving on PHR’s board and Advisory Council, he serves on the advisory board of the Human Rights Center at U.C. Berkeley and as a Commissioner for the International AIDS Society-Lancet Commission on Health and Human Rights. He also serves on the boards of Public Citizen, Public Justice (as a past president), the Civil Justice Research Initiative, and The Conversation. Dr. Smoger co-sponsors the Hogan/Smoger Access to Justice essay contest under the auspices of Public Citizen. He earned his B.A. from Lycoming College (summa cum laude), Ph.D. from the University of Pennsylvania (with distinction), J.D. from Berkeley Law, and is a member of the bars of Texas and California.

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