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Message from the President

On behalf of OEI, welcome to our website.

Our commitment to Central New York is strong.  Through our programs, OEI works with the Onondaga Nation, Federal and State agencies, municipalities, local universities, public and private schools, non-profit organizations, business and industry to conduct research, education, planning and restoration projects that benefit the environment and local citizenry.

Working together, we can foster environmental stewardship and sustainability in Central New York.

Ed Michalenko, President Onondaga Environmental Institute

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OEI staff

James T. Walsh
K&L Gates, LLP Government Affairs Counselor; former U.S. District 25 Congressional Representative


James T. Walsh is currently a government affairs counselor for K&L Gates LLP in the firm's Washington, D.C. office. Mr. Walsh has a distinguished career in public service having served as a member of the U.S. House of Representatives from 1989 to 2009 and as a member of the Syracuse Common Council and as its President from 1985 to 1988. During his time in Congress, Mr. Walsh served in various positions and committees including Deputy Republican Whip and as a member of the House Appropriations Committee. During his tenure on the House Appropriations Committee, he chaired four separate subcommittees including VA-HUD, and Independent Agencies (FEMA, EPA, NASA, and the National Science Foundation); District of Columbia, Legislative Branch; and Military Quality of Life and Veterans Affairs subcommittees. Mr. Walsh also served on the House Agricultural Committee, the House Administration Committee, and the select Committee on Children, Youth and Families.

Early in his career, Congressman Walsh introduced legislation in the House to authorize the Onondaga Lake cleanup in partnership with Senator Moynihan who introduced similar legislation in the Senate. During his career, Mr. Walsh helped to appropriate over $160 million dollars for the purpose of Onondaga Lake remediation.

Mr. Walsh has been recognized for achievement on multiple occasions including the John Phillip Sousa Distinguished Service Award for the preservation of the historic Congressional Cemetery, Congressional Fire Service Legislator of the Year, Ellis Island Medal of Honor, American Ireland Distinguished Service Award, Affordable Housing Champion Award, and the Flax Trust Award presented to Mr. Walsh’s for his commitment to the Northern Ireland peace process.

Mr. Walsh served as a Peace Corps volunteer as an agricultural extension agent in Nepal from 1970 to 1972; worked with the New York Telephone Company/NYNEX; and served as an adjunct professor/executive in residence at the SUNY Institute of Technology, Utica - Rome. Mr. Walsh has served on numerous Boards of Directors in Central New York including the Erie Canal Museum, Oneida Lake Association, Onondaga Anglers Association, and the Otisco Lake Association. Currently Mr. Walsh serves as a member of the United States Soccer Foundation Board of Directors and Cooperation-Ireland.  Mr. Walsh received his Bachelor of Arts degree in history from St. Bonaventure University and is the most recent addition to OEI’s Board of Directors. Mr. Walsh and his wife DeDe have three grown children and a cat named Lola.