WASHINGTON (December 9, 2020) — World Resources Institute (WRI) is pleased to announce that Lawrence Jones, Vice President, International Programs at Edison Electric Institute (EEI), and Carlos Lopes, African Union High Representative for Partnerships with Europe, have joined its Global Board of Directors. Both of these highly respected leaders bring a breadth and depth of experience to WRI’s work and mission, as well as a recognition of the importance of diversifying WRI’s leadership.

Jones is a thought leader and practitioner with over 25 years of experience in the energy industry. Under his leadership, EEI’s International Programs have grown to more than 65 member companies with operations in over 90 countries, and EEI has launched several new strategic initiatives, including the annual Global Electricity Forum, the Africa Utility Power Sector Exchange, and the Thomas Edison International Utility Executive Fellowship Program.


Lopes is currently the African Union High Representative, supporting Member States in the negotiation of a new agreement with the European Union, and he is a member of the organization’s reform team. He has held numerous leadership positions in the United Nations over the past 25 years, recently serving as the United Nations Under-Secretary General and Executive Secretary of the Economic Commission for Africa.

“I am deeply pleased to welcome Carlos and Lawrence to WRI’s Board,” said Jim Harmon, co-chair of WRI’s Global Board of Directors. “With the world facing multiple crises, their leadership and guidance will help us advocate for a resilient recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic, as we push to ensure sustainable, inclusive economic development throughout this pivotal decade. Lawrence and Carlos bring vast expertise that will inform WRI’s global approach, particularly across the African continent, and will be extremely valuable to advancing our work and mission.”

Jones is also a Senior Fellow at the Institute for Sustainable Energy at Boston University, and a non-resident Senior Associate in Energy and National Security at the Center for Strategic and International Studies. He is the co-founder and President of the Center for Sustainable Development in Africa.

“The global challenges we face today require analytically-driven solutions to produce immediate impacts that are scalable and long lasting,” said Jones. “As I view the world today, I see we have greater interconnectedness and interdependencies, which underscore the fierce urgency for strong collaboration to address the crisis we face collectively. WRI provides cutting-edge tools and platforms to help inform decision-makers and innovators to rise to these challenges.”

Lopes has expertise within WRI-led initiatives as a member of the Global Commission on the Economy and Climate, whose flagship project, The New Climate Economy (NCE), is managed by WRI. He has been actively engaged as a Global Commissioner since joining in 2016, contributing significantly to NCE’s 2016 and 2018 flagship reports and playing a key role in informing NCE’s Africa strategy.

“My interactions with WRI date back to the late 1990s,” said Lopes. “Having participated extensively in the organization’s recent work and engagements on climate change, the energy transition, and sustainable urbanization in Africa, I am excited for the opportunity to contribute, through WRI’s Global Board, to tackling the development challenges ahead.”

Additionally, Lopes serves as an Honorary Professor at Nelson Mandela School of Public Governance, Faculty of Commerce, University of Capetown; Visiting Professor at Sciences Po, Paris; and Associate Fellow at Chatham House, London. He was previously a Visiting Fellow at the Oxford Martin School at the University of Oxford. Lopes has also been associated with several high-level boards including the Global Commission for the Future of Work, the Global Commission on the Geopolitics of Energy Transformation, and the Kofi Annan Foundation, among others.

“Lawrence and Carlos bring global experience and inspiring leadership in making development more sustainable,” said Andrew Steer, President & CEO, WRI. “Both have a deep concern for people and the planet and deep understanding on the links between the two. I look forward to the robust contributions they will surely deliver as we work to recover from the global pandemic and get on a stronger and better pathway on the crucial decade.”

Both Jones and Lopes began serving on WRI’s Global Board in November 2020. 

A complete list of WRI’s Global Board Directors is available here.