Vanessa Pérez-Cirera will lead WRI’s Global Economics Center

WASHINGTON (January 21, 2022)—World Resources Institute (WRI) has announced that Vanessa Pérez-Cirera will be the next Director for Economics. Pérez-Cirera is a widely respected environmental economist with extensive experience in topics ranging from international climate policy to renewable energy access to the political economy of social development and local natural resource management. 

“We must use an economic lens to analyze and solve many of the most pressing and interconnected challenges our society faces today,” said Ani Dasgupta, President and CEO, WRI. “Vanessa brings a wealth of experience to the table, and I am thrilled that she will take the helm of WRI’s Economics Center. Her knowledge and expertise will help WRI elevate its ability to measure, understand and communicate how climate action and green investments drive economic growth and prosperity.”

Pérez-Cirera comes to WRI after serving as Deputy Lead of the Global Climate & Energy Practice at the World Wildlife Fund (WWF). In this role, she coordinated strategy across 60 WWF offices, including for WWF’s regional and global initiatives on climate and energy, such as REpowering Asia, Science-Based Targets initiative, One Planet City Challenge, Energy Access in Africa, Corporate Renewables, the Africa Adaptation Initiative and the NDCs We Want. She also chaired WWF’s cross-practice work on nature-based solutions and carbon markets and co-led the organization’s delegation at the UNFCCC COP24, COP25 and COP26. She previously served as the Director of Climate and Energy for WWF Mexico, Global Coordinator of WWF’s Marine Tourism Strategy, and Conservation Director for WWF Mexico. 

Prior to her work at WWF, Pérez-Cirera was Head of Environment for Mexico’s National Research Center for Equitable Development (EQUIDE). In this role, she spearheaded Mexico’s research on environmental poverty measurement and its drivers. She has also served as Principal Technical Advisor for Mexico’s Low Emissions Development Program for USAID and as Deputy Director for Public Policy for the Mexican Ministry of Environment.

She also serves on several boards, including as President of the Board for Comunidad Y Biodiversidad (COBI); as a member of the Sustainability Advisory Board for Neste; and as a member of the Board for Iniciativa Climática de México (ICM). 

“I am honored to join WRI and its stellar, diverse team of economists and environmental experts,” said Pérez-Cirera. “This new role will build on prior collaborations with WRI and I look forward to channeling the institute’s cutting-edge research and vast global network toward novel economic analysis that contributes to the resilient and just prosperity legacy our generation must strive for.”

Vanessa holds a BA in Economics from Universidad Iberoamericana in Mexico City, an MSc in Development Policy and a PhD in Economics and Politics of the Environment from the University of York in the United Kingdom. 

Pérez-Cirera joined WRI in January 2022 and will be based in the organization’s Mexico office. To learn more about WRI’s economics work, visit

About World Resources Institute  
World Resources Institute (WRI) is a global research organization that spans more than 60 countries, with international offices in Brazil, China, India, Indonesia, Mexico and the United States, regional offices in Ethiopia (for Africa) and the Netherlands (for Europe), and program offices in the Democratic Republic of Congo, Turkey and the United Kingdom. Our more than 1,400 experts and staff turn big ideas into action at the nexus of environment, economic opportunity and human well-being. More information at or on Twitter @WorldResources.