- He currently serves as interim president and CEO of the World Resources Institute and will join the international nonprofit environmental organization on Aug. 23.
Indian American economist and environmentalist Manish Bapna has been named president and chief executive officer of the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC), an international nonprofit environmental organization. Bapna, who currently serves as interim president and CEO of the World Resources Institute (WRI), a leading global research organization focused on the environment and development, will join NRDC on Aug. 23. He will replace Mitch Bernard, who has served as interim president and CEO, and chief counsel.
“We have a once-in-a-generation opportunity to overcome the climate crisis and build a healthier, more equitable and more vibrant world,” Bapna said in an NRDC press release. “NRDC is uniquely suited for this challenge, and I am deeply honored to be taking the helm at this time.”
During his 25-year career, Bapna’s leadership roles have focused on designing sustainable development strategies that are equitable, durable, and scalable.
Since joining WRI in 2007, Bapna helped lead the global expansion of staff and divisions from 250 to over 1,400 across offices in the U.S., China, India, Brazil, and more. He oversaw the organization’s program work on climate change, energy, cities, food, forests, oceans, and water while helping transform the organization’s scale, reach and impact.
Prior to WRI, Bapna was executive director of the Bank Information Center, a non-profit advocacy organization that aims to protect local communities and the environment from the negative impacts of projects financed by multilateral development banks. From 1996 to 2003, he worked at the World Bank where he led projects aimed at tackling rural poverty through the protection and sustainable use of water, forests, and other natural resources. Before that, he worked as a strategy consultant at McKinsey & Company and began his career at Oliver, Wyman & Company.
Bapna holds a Bachelor of Science in Electrical Engineering from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and both a Master of Public Administration and a Master of Business Administration with distinction from Harvard University.