Carmen has created summer study opportunities in Brazil and Guatemala for Seattle University law students, and is part of a consortium of law professors that was awarded a three year grant from Higher Education for Development/US Agency for International Development to conduct environmental law capacity-building workshops for law professors in Guatemala, Nicaragua, and the Dominican Republic.
Carmen is active in a variety of professional organisations. She has served as Chair of the Environmental Law Section of the Association of American Law Schools and co-chair of the Research Committee of the International Union for the Conservation of Nature Academy of Environmental Law (IUCNAEL). She currently serves on the Governing Board of the IUCNAEL and on the Board of Trustees of Earthjustice. She has also served as member and vice-chair of the International Subcommittee of the National Environmental Justice Advisory Council (an advisory body to the US Environmental Protection Agency on environmental justice issues), and has represented non-governmental organisations in multilateral environmental treaty negotiations.
After graduating from Yale University and Harvard Law School, Carmen clerked for Judge Thelton E Henderson of the US District Court for the Northern District of California, and subsequently practiced law at Pillsbury, Madison and Sutro, where she specialised in environmental litigation. She later served as an attorney at Pacific Gas and Electric Company and as Assistant Regional Counsel in the San Francisco office of the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). Her responsibilities at EPA included enforcement of US hazardous waste laws and participation in joint activities between the United States and Mexico to address environmental problems along the US-Mexican border.
Carmen has published three books and more than thirty law review articles and book chapters. Her latest book, International Environmental Law and the Global South, was published by Cambridge University Press in September 2015. In Spring 2017, she held the George Soros Visiting Chair at the Central European University School of Public Policy in Budapest, Hungary.