NAIROBI, KENYA (April 3, 2023) — World Resources Institute, Africa is delighted to name Dr. Rebekah Shirley as its Deputy Regional Director. In this capacity, Rebekah will lead programs and operations under the framework of the WRI Africa strategic vision and the global strategy. She will use her expertise to oversee WRI Africa’s engagement and programmatic alignment in focus countries such as Ethiopia, Kenya, Rwanda, Democratic Republic of the Congo, and the Republic of the Congo.

“Rebekah is an innovative thinker, passionate for our teams and committed to excellence”, said Wanjira Mathai, Managing Director for Africa & Global Partnerships. “Rebekah developed and led our energy transitions portfolio and her recent Ted Talk titled ‘The clean energy hub of the future’ is a testimony to her commitment to deliver impact. I am pleased to welcome her to this new role and wish her every success in the weeks and months ahead.” Rebekah has served as WRI Africa’s Director of Research, Data & Innovation since 2021 ensuring WRI’s methods, data and outputs are of the highest-quality, and making findings accessible through targeted engagement and partnerships.  

Before coming to WRI, Rebekah served as the Chief of Research at Power for All, a coalition of more than 300 renewable energy practitioners working towards universal electricity access. She holds a PhD in Energy and Resources from University of California, Berkeley and brings over fifteen years of international experience in climate research focused on power systems in emerging economies, winning multiple awards for transforming data into innovative thought leadership and mobilizing action.

“I am thrilled to take on this position to support WRI Africa to deliver impact and propel its journey towards creating inclusive transformation”, Rebekah said. “Together with the larger team, I will work to strengthen local research capacities and help mobilize inclusive, sustainable livelihoods and solutions, by creating widespread access to critical data and insights.”  

Rebekah is a visiting faculty member at Carnegie Mellon University, where she enjoys mentoring young graduate students. She is also a founding editor of the IOP journal of Environmental Research: Infrastructure and Sustainability. She was recently appointed to the board of trustees of UK Charity Ashden, where she promotes climate solutions in action.

About World Resources Institute

World Resources Institute (WRI) is a global research organization with offices in Brazil, China, Colombia, India, Indonesia, Mexico and the United States, and regional offices for Africa and Europe. Our over 1,700 staff work with partners to develop practical solutions that improve people’s lives and ensure nature can thrive. Learn more: and on Twitter @WorldResources.