Harvard Social Enterprise Conference > Financing and Investing for Scalable Climate Impact

Joanna Messing

February 17, 2023 |by secon2023 | Comments Off on Joanna Messing

Joanna Messing joined Growald Climate Fund in 2007 as the founding Executive Director. Growald Climate Fund is a high-impact venture philanthropy fund focused on driving a rapid transition to a clean energy future. Guided by a mission to catalyze climate innovation and leadership, we identify bold leaders, invest in promising solutions, and support radical collaboration to address the climate crisis. Joanna brings over 20 years of experience in venture philanthropy, social entrepreneurship, and business planning to the field of strategic climate philanthropy.

Prior, Joanna ran her own company Positive Ventures, a philanthropic and social enterprise strategy consulting firm. Previously she was associate director of REDF (previously Roberts Enterprise Development Fund), a leading venture philanthropy fund, and she was also the director of NESsT Consulting and Enterprise Development, where she helped launch and implement the NESsT Venture Fund, investing in social enterprises throughout Central and Eastern Europe and Latin America.

Joanna received her MBA from the University of Massachusetts. Having grown up well off the grid, she brings a deeply rooted ethic of sustainability to both her role at the Growald Climate Fund and her own household. Joanna is an avid salsa dancer.


Prof. John Tobin

February 11, 2023 |by secon2023 | Comments Off on Prof. John Tobin

Prof. John Tobin is an ecologist and attorney with over two decades of private sector experience, having worked in the international finance industry for much of his career. Following a decade of corporate legal practice in the area of emerging markets finance, while actively providing counsel on environmental conservation matters on a pro bono basis, he turned his full attention towards the growing area of corporate sustainability, becoming Managing Director and Global Head of Sustainability at Credit Suisse. In this position, he pioneered a variety of initiatives and policies aimed at setting the finance industry on a more sustainable course.

In 2016 he transitioned into a faculty position at Cornell University, where he teaches corporate sustainability, environmental and social risk management, impact investing, environmental finance, and related topics to undergraduates and graduate students in business and public affairs. His research focuses on the use of financial tools to generate positive outcomes in the areas of sustainable development and biodiversity conservation. In addition, he actively engages with industry and civil society to develop financial solutions to sustainability problems, including as co-founder of the Coalition for Private Investment in Conservation (CPIC). Dr. Tobin has extensive leadership and governance experience in not-for-profit entities at the board level, particularly in the areas of environment, science, and education.

Prof. John Tobin obtained a B.S. in Biology from UCLA, a Ph.D. in Organismic and Evolutionary Biology from Harvard University, and a JD from Harvard Law School.


Dr. Stephen Hammer

February 11, 2023 |by secon2023 | Comments Off on Dr. Stephen Hammer

Dr. Stephen Hammer currently serves as an Advisor, focused on International Climate Policy and Strategy, with the World Bank’s Climate Change Group in Washington DC. In this role he serves as a key policy advisor to WBG senior management and leads the Bank’s climate finance-related engagement with the G7, G20, and UNFCCC. He represents the World Bank on numerous global commissions and working groups focused on climate finance, and was one of the key movers behind the creation of the Coalition of Finance Ministers for Climate Action, a group which he continues to advise on strategic matters. In 2021 he chaired the global working group focused on the “Paris Alignment” of MDB lending portfolios.

Prior to his current role he served as Manager, Climate Policy for the World Bank Group, where he led an interdisciplinary team of 60+ scientists, economists, technical experts, and consultants focused on the mainstreaming of climate change in World Bank operations, frontier research on climate change and development topics, and the provision of climate-related advisory services to clients. Before Dr. Hammer joined the World Bank, he was a professor at MIT’s Department of Urban Studies and Planning (DUSP), where he taught courses on a variety of urban energy and climate policy topics. Prior to that, he taught at Columbia University’s School of International and Public Affairs, where he founded and directed the Urban Energy Program; at the Milano Graduate School of Urban Affairs; and at the Pratt Institute.

Dr. Hammer holds a PhD from the London School of Economics, an MPP from the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University, and a B.S. in Environmental Policy Analysis and Planning from the University of California at Davis.


Kevin Li

March 22, 2022 |by secon2023 | Comments Off on Kevin Li

Kevin is a first year MPP candidate at the Harvard Kennedy School. Prior to HKS, Kevin worked as a consultant with Deloitte’s Climate & Sustainability practice and a coordination consultant at the United Nations in China. He co-founded the US China Climate Forum, a global community for thoughtful engagement on US-China relations and climate collaboration, and GreenClub, a 501(c) non-profit that delivered 1,000+ tons of emission offsets through energy efficiency and reforestation projects. Kevin has also served brief stints as secretariat manager to Coalition for Private Investment in Conservation, climate financing consultant to the Government of Tonga, and research assistant to Cornell Institute for China Economic Research. Kevin graduated from Cornell University with a degree in Environmental and Sustainability Sciences. He was born and raised in Shanghai, China.