WASHINGTON (March 6, 2017) — World Resources Institute is pleased to announce that Leonardo Martinez-Diaz will be the new global director of its Finance Center, which supports the shift of financial flows to support sustainable development. Martinez-Diaz most recently was Deputy Assistant Secretary for Energy and Environment at the U.S. Treasury. Martinez-Diaz joins WRI’s global management team which sets the organization’s agenda across its global network.
“I am delighted that Leonardo will lead WRI’s research, analysis and public engagement to unlock the power of finance to reduce global poverty and restore the natural systems that sustain us all,” said Andrew Steer, President & CEO, WRI. “There is a quiet revolution underway in the world of finance, as individual and institutional investors demand greater disclosure of environmental and social risks and rebalance their portfolios accordingly. Leonardo’s fierce intellect and his experience working with a wide range of financial institutions mean that he is the right person in the right place at the right time to accelerate this revolution in global finance.”
While at the U.S. Treasury, Martinez-Diaz portfolio included oversight of multilateral climate and environmental funds, directing Treasury’s work on climate finance, and leading on climate finance-related elements of international negotiations, including at the G7, G20, UNFCCC COP, and the U.S. China Strategic and Economic Dialogue. Martinez-Diaz previously worked at USAID, the IMF, the World Bank, and the Brookings Institution. A Marshall, Truman and Luce Scholar, Martinez-Diaz was selected as one of Huffington Post’s “40 Under 40” Latinos in Foreign Policy.
“WRI has extraordinary intellectual firepower, a diverse and dynamic team, and global networks. These have made WRI a respected thought leader, one that enables governments and the private sector to better define, measure, and achieve sustainability,” said Martinez-Diaz. “I am very pleased to be leading WRI’s Finance Center, where we will focus on the double role of financial markets and institutions in both enabling sustainable development as well as incentivizing it in the first place.”
Manish Bapna, Executive Vice President & Managing Director, WRI said, “Leonardo’s work with a wide variety of financial institutions, including his recent service on the board of the Green Climate Fund, has given him valuable firsthand experience with the crucial task of deploying public finance to mobilize private finance for climate action and other urgent needs at the nexus of development and the environment. We are thrilled that he will now use these experiences to advance our mission at WRI.”
WRI’s Finance Center identifies ways to mobilize private and public finance for projects such as clean energy development and climate adaptation and resilience initiatives. It provides policy recommendations, evaluates impact, convenes discussions, and produces leading-edge research on incorporating environmental and social protections into investments.