Bezos Earth Fund Expands Team, Welcomes Paul Bodnar and Noël Bakhtian
WASHINGTON, April 26, 2023 — The Bezos Earth Fund welcomes Paul Bodnar as Director of Sustainable Finance, Industry, and Diplomacy and Dr. Noël Bakhtian as Director of Tech Acceleration, adding to its growing team of experts working to fight climate change and protect and restore nature.
Paul Bodnar joins the Earth Fund after serving as BlackRock’s Global Head of Sustainable Investing and Head of Sustainability Policy. Paul has held various leadership positions in finance, government, and civil society and will lead the Earth Fund’s efforts to advance climate finance, industry, and diplomacy worldwide. Before BlackRock, he was Chief Strategy Officer and Executive Council member at RMI (formerly Rocky Mountain Institute), where he founded the Center for Climate-Aligned Finance. Paul served in the Obama White House as Special Assistant to the President and Senior Director for Energy and Climate Change at the National Security Council and earlier was U.S. lead negotiator for climate finance at the State Department.
“I am grateful for the opportunity to join the Bezos Earth Fund team as they continue to have a transformative impact on climate and nature,” said Bodnar. "I look forward to harnessing my experience in finance, government, and the nonprofit sector in this new challenge."
Dr. Noël Bakhtian is leading the organization’s work in identifying high-leverage opportunities to accelerate climate change solutions. Dr. Bakhtian joins the Earth Fund from the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, where she was the inaugural executive director of the Berkeley Lab Energy Storage Center. Over the past decade, Noël has served as a senior policy advisor in the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy, a senior leadership team member at DOE’s $1.5B Idaho National Laboratory, and in critical roles in DOE's Office of International Affairs and Office of Wind and Water Power Technologies. She also serves as chair of the Board for the Institute for the Quantitative Study of Inclusion, Diversity, and Equity (QSIDE).
"I'm excited to be joining the Bezos Earth Fund, bringing my focus to accelerating our ambitious vision to deliver impactful outcomes,” said Dr. Bakhtian. “The civilization-scale challenge of climate change necessitates solutions that are both at scale and swift, so we need to be driving new science and technology, catalyzing deeper collaborations, and forging new pathways from discovery to deployment.”
“We are delighted Noël and Paul have joined our team, helping to drive bold action in this decisive decade," said Dr. Andrew Steer, President and CEO of the Bezos Earth Fund. "As leaders in their fields, their insights, expertise and experience will help us deliver transformational change."
About the Bezos Earth Fund
The Bezos Earth Fund is Jeff Bezos's $10 billion commitment to fund scientists, activists, NGOs, and other actors that will drive climate and nature solutions. By allocating funds creatively, wisely, and boldly, the Bezos Earth Fund has the potential for transformative influence in this decisive decade. Funds will be fully allocated by 2030 — the date by which the United Nations' Sustainable Development Goals must be achieved.