Robert Kennedy Jr.is an environmental attorney, author, activist, entrepreneur, and radio host. Kennedy serves as president of the board of Waterkeeper Alliance, a non-profit environmental group which he helped found in 1999. He is the chairman of World Mercury Project (WMP), an advocacy group that seeks to reduce and eliminate mercury exposure from industry and pharmaceuticals such as vaccines.
Kennedy served from 1986 until 2017 as senior attorney for the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC), a non-profit environmental organization. He served from 1984 until 2017 as board member and chief prosecuting attorney for Hudson Riverkeeper.
In June 1999, as Riverkeeper's success on the Hudson began inspiring the creation of Waterkeepers across North America, Kennedy and a few dozen Riverkeepers gathered in Southampton, Long Island to found the Waterkeeper Alliance, which now serves as the umbrella group for the 320 licensed Waterkeeper programs located in 38 countries. As President of the Alliance, Kennedy oversees its legal, membership, policy and fundraising programs. The Alliance states that it is dedicated to promoting "swimmable, fishable, drinkable waterways, worldwide," and also serves as a clearinghouse, approving new Keeper programs and licensing use of the trademarked "Waterkeeper," "Riverkeeper," "Soundkeeper," "Lakekeeper," "Baykeeper," "Bayoukeeper," "Canalkeeper," "Coastkeeper," etc. names.
Kennedy and his environmental work have been the focus of several films including The Hudson Riverkeepers(1998) and The Waterkeepers (2000), both directed by Les Guthman. In 2008, he appeared in the IMAX documentary film Grand Canyon Adventure: River at Risk (2008), riding the length of the Grand Canyon in a wooden dory with his daughter Kick and with anthropologist Wade Davis.
For over thirty years Kennedy has been a professor of Environmental Law at Pace University School of Law in White Plains, New York. Until August 2017, he also held the post as supervising attorney and co-director of Pace Law School's Environmental Litigation Clinic, which he founded in 1987. He is currently professor emeritus at Pace.