RELEASE: WRI Announces New Leadership Team to Equip Institute for its Next Chapter
WASHINGTON (June 7, 2022)—World Resources Institute is pleased to announce a new leadership team who will guide the organization into the future, as it continues to develop critical solutions for people and planet. The team will be led by five new Managing Directors who reflect WRI’s diverse, global profile. They will lead the implementation of WRI’s global strategy and be accountable for delivering impact, while bringing a greater focus on in-country work with a diverse ecosystem of partners.
The new team reflects WRI’s deep expertise and global reach, and includes Adriana Lobo, Managing Director, Global Presence and National Action; Wanjira Mathai, Managing Director, Africa and Global Partnerships; Janet Ranganathan, Managing Director, Strategy, Learning and Results; and Craig Hanson, Managing Director, Programs. A fifth Managing Director, yet to be publicly announced, is a global leader in environmental and development issues who will oversee Global Delivery.
“Building on 40 years of impact, WRI is equipping itself for the future,” said Ani Dasgupta, President & CEO, WRI. “We are honored to appoint such widely respected, passionate and knowledgeable leaders who will serve as WRI’s new team of Managing Directors. These remarkable individuals not only bring unparalleled expertise in our field, but also the exceptional humanity, humility and true collaborative spirit needed to address the world’s most urgent challenges for people and nature.”
This is a critical moment for WRI and the world. The new Managing Directors will help WRI strengthen collaboration across its global network, improve efficiency and streamline decision-making by working as team. With nearly 70 years of collective service to WRI, the team will bring a breadth and depth of knowledge about the challenges and opportunities facing the planet, and lead WRI into a new era of strategic focus and impact.
“This new team will sit at the helm of a remarkable organization that is poised to oversee true systems transformation,” said David Blood, WRI’s Global Board Co-Chair. “Throughout its history, WRI has produced powerful data and research that has helped shift policies and improve people’s lives across the world. This extraordinary group will harness the strengths of WRI and ensure that we address the urgent challenges facing the planet.”
As the new Managing Director for Global Presence and National Action, Lobo, who is based in Mexico City, will foster a vibrant network across all WRI’s geographies, bring the voice of its International Offices into every decision and align WRI’s global, country and regional strategies. Lobo has led WRI México and Colombia for nearly two decades. She will continue to play a senior advisory role in the Cities program, which she helped build, and provide day-to-day to WRI offices across the Americas.
“I am passionate about the power of WRI to address the climate and nature crises in a people-centered way,” said Lobo. “A major global transformation is underway, and the new team of Managing Directors will work with our global staff to ensure that WRI leverages its deep expertise at the country level to create a more just and equitable world.”
With the support of the WRI México Board, WRI will conduct a search for a new Director of WRI México and Colombia. In the meantime, Angélica Vesga will step in as Interim Executive Director of WRI México and Colombia. Fernando Páez will remain Deputy Director of WRI Colombia.
As Managing Director of Africa and Global Partnerships, Mathai, based in Nairobi, will continue to lead WRI’s presence and impact in Africa, sharing her time equally with her new role leading Global Partnerships. With over 20 years advocating for social and environmental change on both local and international platforms, Mathai will help WRI deepen its existing partnerships and diversify the scope through new partnerships. Africa is at the heart of where systems transformations are needed most, and Mathai will play a catalytic role in bringing about inclusive approaches to change.
“For WRI to truly become the partner of choice, we must leverage its convening capacity to drive collective impact,” said Mathai. “The world is facing an urgent need to overcome the climate crisis and build a healthier, more equitable planet, and Africa remains at the heart of where these systems transformations are most needed. As we face down these myriad challenges, this team will ensure sharper, wider, deeper delivery across the board and in partnership with others.”
A Deputy Regional Director for WRI Africa will soon be appointed to support the team’s delivery of the strategic plan on a daily basis.
As Managing Director of Strategy, Learning and Results, Ranganathan, based in Washington, DC, will ensure WRI’s strategy is fit for purpose and implemented for maximum impact. Ranganathan will also fortify WRI’s strong evidence base to measure progress, lead Research Integrity and oversee the institute’s Data Lab. With a remarkable 28 years of service to WRI, Ranganathan is well placed to lead the next phase of turning commitments into action.
“WRI is a respected partner to many and is renowned for its collaborative spirit and commitment to practical, evidence-based approaches to drive results,” said Ranganathan. “The new Managing Directors will work to ensure that WRI is able to think critically and creatively about how to tackle the interconnected nature, climate and equity crisis. We have much to do in this next decisive decade. It's imperative that we are laser-focused on strategy and results, while staying true to our research roots.”
As Managing Director of Programs, Hanson, based in Washington, DC, will unify WRI’s work across its Programs and Centers of Excellence. With 20 years of experience at WRI, Hanson will continue to ensure that WRI’s portfolio has focus and coherence, and that project teams are achieving measurable results.
“WRI is a truly global organization with excellent staff, a committed board, strong partnerships and innovative initiatives,” said Hanson. “This new leadership team will help the institute bring a ‘whole-of-WRI approach’ to getting the world on track toward a just transition for a zero-carbon future.”
WRI’s new leadership team will include Elizabeth Cook, Executive Vice President of Governance and Development, Stientje van Veldhoven, Vice President and Director, WRI Europe, Jocelyn Starzak, General Counsel and Kevin Moss, Chief of Institutional Alignment.
“This is an exciting group who will bring bold ideas and transformational leadership to their new positions,” said Frances Beinecke, WRI Board Member. “As the world faces an urgent climate crisis and a need to rapidly decarbonize the global economy, the new Managing Directors will work with WRI’s extraordinary global team to ensure that WRI is equipped to transform the world to a more sustainable pathway.”
About World Resources Institute
World Resources Institute (WRI) is a global research organization that turns big ideas into action at the nexus of environment, economic opportunity and human well-being. Our more than 1,600 experts and staff work in 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. More information at www.wri.org or on Twitter @WorldResources.