Elizabeth Lewis

Head of Sustainable Investing, World Resources Institute 

“I credit ESPP with giving me a strong scientific understanding of the world’s biggest long-term challenges – and inspiring me to focus my career on solving these challenges. My education on climate change education stands out. I was in college long before the world was talking about climate change, and my professors were on the cutting edge.

   ESPP also taught me–through courses in diverse disciplines, and relationships with professors, alumni and other students–that the world was rapidly changing. It would be important to be flexible and take advantage of unexpected opportunities. After Harvard, I’ve spent most of my career in management consulting and private equity with a focus on technology innovation, energy and natural resource management. I believe in the power of innovation and capitalism to improve the livelihoods of people around the world and solve our biggest challenges. In the best circumstances, harnessing these forces requires pioneering leadership and people with a range of skills and experiences. 

About a year ago, World Resources Institute–a research organization focused on sustainable and inclusive economic development–asked me to lead a new program to advance sustainable investment practices in the mainstream investor marketplace. I jumped at the chance. My work at WRI is an unusual combination of practice and creative problem solving. I manage WRI’s own endowment investments, and also use data, cutting-edge research and peer-to-peer learning to encourage sustainable investing solutions in the mainstream investment marketplace. At WRI, we envision a future where financial markets support a sustainable world for generations to come. In this world, investors will consider sustainability as part of fundamental decision-making, markets will incorporate company sustainability performance into valuation, and investing sustainably will be mainstream. It’s a big vision!

ESPP inspired me–and prepared me well–to play a part in solving this big challenge. I’d love to connect or reconnect with any alumni interested in helping."
-ESPP ‘01, MBA ‘06