WASHINGTON (September 1, 2016)— World Resources Institute is pleased to announce that Jennifer Layke has been selected to lead its growing Energy Program. Layke will oversee initiatives and projects that aim to expand access to clean and affordable energy that will reduce climate risks and strengthen communities worldwide. Jennifer has been leading WRI’s Building Efficiency Initiative, and she will continue to oversee that work, along with WRI’s growing energy portfolio.

“Jennifer is one of our most respected, strategic and talented colleagues, and has the experiences and skills to deliver solutions for today’s energy sector,” said Andrew Steer, president and CEO, WRI. “We are seeing a dramatic increase in energy demand, at the same time that we need to drastically cut emissions. At the same time, new opportunities are emerging as renewable energy options are becoming more and more cost competitive. Tackling these challenges requires a leader with experience, trust and resolve— all qualities Jennifer enjoys in abundance.”

Since 2014, Layke has been director of WRI's Building Efficiency Initiative, a partnership with Johnson Controls, within WRI Ross Center for Sustainable Cities, which supports and accelerates energy efficiency action in cities. Previously, Layke launched and managed the Institute for Building Efficiency at Johnson Controls.

WRI's Energy team works with businesses, policymakers and civil society to transform the global energy system. Its leading initiative, Charge, focuses on securing universal access to clean, affordable power. The Energy Program's conducts research and analysis on the costs, benefits and risks associated with different energy and policy options in the U.S. and emerging markets.

Layke will lead a global team of experts in energy access, renewable energy and energy efficiency in China, India, Indonesia and the United States. Jennifer also serves as a member of WRI’s global management team, informing the institute’s overall strategy and activities.

“I am excited to move into this role, which brings together clean energy, energy efficiency and low-carbon growth to improve lives of people around the world,” said Layke. “Many millions of people today still lack access to electricity—and they deserve energy which is both clean, affordable and reliable. I am excited to build on WRI’s record of excellent research and trusted engagement to accelerate the global energy transition that is currently underway.”

This is Layke’s second tour with WRI—previously, she was deputy director of the Climate and Energy Program (as it was then called). In that role, Layke founded the Green Power Market Development Group that developed innovative energy procurement paths for corporate use of clean energy in the U.S. and Europe. Layke also managed partnerships focused on strategies to reduce GHG emissions and was WRI’s lead for USCAP, a collaboration among environmental non-profits and businesses to develop climate and energy policy solutions in the United States.

As Energy Director, Layke follows Alex Perera, who served as acting director, and successfully consolidated the institute’s energy projects into the Charge initiative, while launching several high-profile new activities.

“We are thrilled that Jennifer agreed to take on this new role, where she will be working with colleagues across WRI and our many external partners to develop solutions to drive the transition to clean, low-carbon energy,” said Manish Bapna, executive vice president and managing director, WRI. “We are also very grateful to Alex and the entire energy team who launched the Charge initiative in 2014, and expanded our work in the United States, India and Africa. We look forward to Jennifer building on these successes to scale solutions that will deliver clean, reliable and affordable power to millions of people around the world."