R. Scott Nuzum

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Scott provides strategic legal, regulatory, and policy counsel to companies, governments, and individuals thinking about the future. Utilizing a cross-disciplinary approach, Scott helps clients identify, plan for, and navigate various forms of technological, environmental, and geopolitical disruption.

On the technology side, Scott works with clients to help them assess the implications arising from the application of emerging technologies—including artificial intelligence, autonomous vehicles, and unmanned aerial systems—into the energy, natural resources, and transportation sectors. In this role, Scott has advised commercial real estate developers on cybersecurity and privacy law issues arising from the use of internet-enabled (IoT) devices, commercial fisheries managers on the legal pathway to incorporating electronic monitoring systems for better management outcomes, and gas pipeline companies on the national security risks inherent in the utilization of commercial-off-the-shelf drones.

Scott also helps clients craft strategies to enhance their resiliency in the face of environmental change. Drawing from experience coordinating large-scale ecosystem restoration efforts while at the White House Council on Environmental Quality, Scott is able to provide clients with invaluable insights into federal permitting and approval processes for major mitigation and adaption projects.

In addition, Scott is a frequent writer and commenter on issues of geopolitical disruption. He has presented on the topic of governance in periods of rapid change, arguing that domestic legal reform may be needed to better facilitate innovation and protect national security interests. Scott also has written and spoken on the issue of export controls for emerging technologies, arguing that technology transfers can serve as effective instruments of US geopolitical influence in the face of increasing global competition.

  • Experience

    Technological disruption:

    •  Advised commercial real estate companies on legal risks of connected devices
    • Counseled pipeline clients on potential national security concerns from use of commercial off the shelf drones
    • Advised technology startup on privacy and data security issues, including compliance with European Union General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR)
    • Represented oil and gas developer in successful regulatory petition for approval of alternative procedures to comply with offshore safety requirements

    Environmental disruption:

    • Assisted state in developing first-of-its-kind memorandum of understanding with U.S. to accelerate permitting of large-scale sediment diversion to improve coastal resiliency
    • Advised municipal water agency on matters related to environmental review and permitting of critical water conveyance redesign

    Geopolitical disruption:

    • Advised petrochemical manufacturer on tariff issue as part of major US trade negotiation
  • Professional Affiliations

    American Bar Association

    Section on Energy, Environment and Resources

    Section on Science and Technology

    International Association of Privacy Professionals

  • Awards & Honors
  • Government Service

    Office of the Solicitor, U.S. Department of the Interior

    Counselor to the Solicitor, 2012-2014

    White House Council on Environmental Quality

    Policy Advisor, 2009-2012

  • News & Presentations
  • Thought Leadership


George Washington University School of Law Post-Graduate Coursework, International Environmental Law, 2009

University of Miami School of Law J.D., cum laude, 2008
Editor-in-chief, University of Miami Inter-American Law Review
Member, Moot Court Board

College of William and Mary B.A., 2005