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RELEASE: WRI Appoints Helen Mountford to Lead Global Climate Program

Craig Hanson and Kitty van der Heijden also promoted to Vice President

WASHINGTON (November 30, 2018) —World Resources Institute is pleased to announce the appointment of Helen Mountford as Vice President for Climate and Economics. In her new role, Mountford will work with WRI’s global staff and partners to advance ambitious climate action. She will also continue to lead WRI’s global economics work, including the New Climate Economy.

“Helen has played a major role in shifting our understanding of the economic benefits of climate action. She is a great thinker and colleague, who brings unmatched technical, managerial and people skills,” said Dr. Andrew Steer, President & CEO, WRI. “As the head of the New Climate Economy, she has helped re-define the narrative around climate action and the economy. We conducted a global search, with very strong candidates, but found the right candidate right in front of us. I’m delighted that she has agreed to take on this new role.”

As Global Director of WRI’s Economics Center, Mountford has overseen world class research, advanced the institute’s economic toolkit, and managed a team of top tier economists. Prior to WRI, Mountford was Deputy Director of Environment for the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), leading a large group of economists and advising governments on issues, such as green fiscal reform, climate finance, fossil fuel subsidy reforms, water pricing, biodiversity incentive measures, and economic outlooks and modelling.

“We are running up against the clock to curb global temperature rise. While many countries, cities, businesses and investors are advancing solutions, we must ensure this action adds up to the ambition we need. I aim to bring together our understanding of climate policy and economics to demonstrate the benefits of action for people and society,” said Helen Mountford. “I am absolutely delighted to take on this new role, heading up highly talented teams to apply rigorous research and thought-leadership to catalyze change.”

WRI also named Craig Hanson and Kitty van der Heijden as Vice Presidents. Hanson oversees WRI’s work on food, forests, water and the ocean, while van der Heijden, who is based in Addis Ababa, oversees WRI’s work in Europe and Africa. Their appointment reflects their superlative contributions to WRI, and their ongoing commitment to developing and scaling initiatives.

“In the face of urgent challenges, we need talented and nimble thinkers—Helen, Craig, and Kitty are leaders who have clear vision and the ability to set strategies and guide teams to create change at scale,” said Manish Bapna, Executive Vice President and Managing Director, WRI. “We are excited to recognize their leadership and dedication to advance global, multi-sectoral solutions for sustainable development.”

Mountford, Hanson, and van der Heijden will assume their new roles immediately.

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