Hannah Jones accelerates at Nike; Closed Loop Fund opens new venture

Names in the News

Hannah Jones accelerates at Nike; Closed Loop Fund opens new venture

Names in the News
Clockwise from top left: Dhivya Suryadevara (GM); Hannah Jones (Nike); Lewis Perkins (ex-Cradle to Cradle Product Innovation Institute); Jane Ambachtsheer (BNP Paribas); Hammad Atassi (ASBC); Meaghan Parker (Society of Environmental Journalists); and Dan Lashof (WRI).

Welcome to our mid- to late-summer edition of Names in the News, our who’s who of career moves in the clean economy. As we wait for this heat wave to cool down, we’re also seeing plenty of career moves just starting to heat up. It’s almost back to school — and back to work. Let’s take a look.

By the way, do you know someone who is moving and shaking in the environmental field? E-mail us at [email protected].

Who's news

Rob Kaplan

The co-founder and (now former) managing director of the Closed Loop Fund — a new social impact investing fund focused on improving product recycling programs — has spawned an even newer venture called Circulate Capital. Rob Kaplan will head this investment management company that focused specifically on the ocean plastics issue in Asia. After years as director of product sustainability at Walmart and head of corporate responsibility at wine and spirits maker Brown-Forman, Kaplan is keying in on this important (and trendy) problem.

Hannah Jones

Sustainable fashion visionary Hannah Jones has taken a new position as president of Nike’s in-house business model incubator (it’s called "Nike Valiant Labs" but until recently was known as the "Innovation Accelerator"). As Solitaire Townsend described in her Forbes profile of female sustainability leaders, with 20 years at Nike and 15 years as its CSO, Jones has been "actively changing the way companies view sustainability and social responsibility, from mandatory to an opportunity to innovate."

Dan Lashof

Environmental field veteran Dan Lashof has joined World Resources Institute as the new WRI U.S. director. After serving as COO for NextGen Climate America for the past few years and in multiple positions throughout the NRDC for 25 years prior to that, he has a breadth of climate policy experience that surely will shape the direction of the organization.

Erin Fitzgerald

The U.S. Farmers & Ranchers Alliance has tapped a new CEO, Erin Fitzgerald, who hails from the innovation sector from U.S. Dairy. The coalition of farmer and rancher-led partners want to "dialogue with consumers who have questions about how today's food is grown and raised" — and this current moment is more critical than ever. The move comes as the American food system is under increasing scrutiny from consumers, climate change is increasingly politicized, a new farm bill is in the works and blowback from President Donald Trump’s trade war threatens many independent farmers and ranchers.

Dhivya Suryadevara

The No. 1 U.S. automaker, General Motors, announced that its current CFO, Chuck Stevens, will retire and be succeeded by Dhivya Suryadevara, current VP of corporate finance. GM will have two women running the show, with Suryadevara as CFO and Mary Barra as CEO, which is not notable in this modern era but is surprising in the perceived musclebound tradition of American vehicle making.

Erik Hansen

Casino hotel company Wynn Resorts has announced the appointment of Erik Hansen as its first CSO. Hansen will be responsible for the development of the company's global sustainability strategy as well as energy procurement goals. The move comes after plenty of high-profile controversy coming from the making public of decades-long sexual harassment allegations against the company founder, Steve Wynn — does anyone think this sounds like greenwashing?

On the move

Society of Environmental Journalists Board of Directors has chosen Meaghan Parker as the new executive director. She’s been with a think tank, the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars, in Washington, D.C., for the past 13 years and will helm the society from there. She envisions a future for the environmental organization supporting its journalists, educating the public on these issues and diversifying the field.

— The legendary Cradle to Cradle Products Innovation Institute is shaking up its players:

  • President Lewis Perkins is leaving C2C, and Peter Templeton, who recently joined the Board of Directors, will serve as the Institute’s interim CEO.

  • Tamara Zwart, formerly of Closed Loop, has stepped into the role of director of textiles/apparel and stakeholder engagement.

  • Marisa Guber, socially responsible business professional, has moved into the role of stakeholder engagement manager for C2C’s newly formed stakeholder engagement team.

  • Emma Williams also has joined as head of communications for the organization.

 Global sustainable consultancy Anthesis Group is expanding its Boston-based business with the addition of four highly regarded sustainability strategy consultants: executive directors George Favaloro and Don Reed; director Ezequiel Hart; and associate director Barrett Lawson, all joining from PwC.

Sustainable Electronics Recycling International (SERI) has promoted Corey Dehmey from SERI’s R2 director to executive director.

—  The American Sustainable Business Council (ASBC) has a new leader: Hammad Atassi, a long-term senior executive from Numi Organic Tea to advocate for policies for sustainable business.

— As JPMorgan Chase expands its support for The Nature Conservancy, Doug Petno, CEO of Commercial Banking at the global financial institution, has joined the nonprofit’s Board of Directors.

— Sustainable investment specialist Jane Ambachtsheer leaves Mercer’s responsible investments team to lead BNP Paribas sustainability as global head of sustainability.

— Dave Rankin has moved up from the Great Lakes Protection Fund’s VP of programs to executive director. After 30 years driving water management innovation and 20 years as vice president, looks like he’ll be a fish in water.

 Environmental engineering and construction firm Brown and Caldwell has promoted Wendy Broley to vice president and One Water leader as the company seeks to strategically expand its leadership in water reuse.