WASHINGTON (June 29, 2015)— World Resources Institute (WRI) announced that Natalie Elwell has joined the organization as its first senior gender advisor. Elwell will work with staff to embed a consistent gender perspective across WRI’s programs and within the institute.

“Natalie has a great track record and highly accomplished career in government and non-profits working on both gender and environmental issues,” said Mark Robinson, global director, Governance, World Resources Institute. “Improving gender balance and equity, especially for women, are at the core of international development and sustainability and Natalie will provide leadership to further integrate a focus on gender across our programs.”

Previously, Elwell worked at USAID to build capacity and advance women’s empowerment and gender equality in the agency’s environmental and climate change activities. Elwell also served as a gender advisor for World Neighbors, including working with field teams in 18 countries in Africa, Asia and Latin America, where she focused on designing gender approaches and building local capacity in rural community development programs.

“As one of the leading global research organizations focused on development and the environment, WRI can play a valuable role in incorporating a gender lens across its research and projects,” said Natalie Elwell, senior gender advisor, WRI. “I am excited to be joining this extraordinary group of experts to help make women’s empowerment a fully integrated part of WRI’s work.”

WRI has long worked to connect women empowerment to development outcomes. For example, the Forest Concession, Public Participation, and Gender Project created a gender baseline assessment of the formal and informal opportunities for participation in the concession allocation process in Indonesia. The Land and Resource Rights project is working to establish more participatory and gender-equitable community decision making on land investments in Tanzania, Mozambique, and the Philippines. WRI India is improving women’s access to and safety in public transport and urban spaces through a first-of-its-kind project in Bhopal, India, and contributions to national guidelines on urban and regional development.

Elwell will also oversee a gender working group of approximately 20 colleagues that facilitates shared learning and integrates gender across the institute.