BlackRock has hired Paul Bodnar, a former aide to President Barack Obama, as head of sustainable investing.
In a statement, the company said Bodnar would lead its sustainable investing platform and its global initiative to help clients create more sustainable, more resilient investment portfolios.
As part of the Obama administration, Bodnar held several climate leadership roles in the US government, including as special assistant to the president and senior director for energy and climate change at the National Security Council.
He also held positions at the Department of State, including as lead negotiator for climate finance and counsellor to the special envoy for climate change.
During this period, Bodnar was involved in the development of the Obama administration’s climate policies, including its strategy for the Paris Climate Conference in 2015 that led to a global agreement to limit global warming.
He also had roles in the historic US-China presidential joint climate announcement of November 2014, the OECD agreement to strictly limit public financing for coal-fired power plants, and the doubling of clean energy research and development budgets by 20 major countries through the Mission Innovation initiative.
More recently, Bodnar was managing director and chief strategy officer at Rocky Mountain Institute, an independent non-profit organization working to accelerate the clean energy transition.
As global head of BlackRock Sustainable Investing (BSI), Bodnar will be responsible for sustainable research, analytics, product development, and integration of environmental, social and governance considerations into the investment processes of the asset management giant’s various strategies.
“Understanding the interplay between public policy, technology and finance is absolutely critical in helping clients invest sustainably,” said Philipp Hildebrand, vice chairman of BlackRock. He added that Bodnar’s experience made him “an ideal choice” for the role.
Last month, the US Department of Energy has launched a $100 million funding opportunity to support transformational low-carbon technologies. The funding forms part of an ambitious innovation effort by the new Biden-Harris Administration to tackle the climate crisis and includes a new research working group and an outline of the innovation agenda.