Our Team

CMI staff members come from the foremost finance, business and academic institutions. Their deep knowledge is enhanced by working closely with NRDC's experts in energy and climate policy -- many of whom are recognized leaders in the field -- and with NRDC's extensive contacts in the business community. An important component of CMI's direction, approach and achievements is provided by the CMI Advisory Council. This body is composed of leaders in the financial sector as well as relevant industries. CMI looks forward to further expanding the interface with this critical resource. Finally, CMI benefits from cooperation with Environmental Entrepreneurs, a partner group with over 850 business leaders in 27 states who believe that strong environmental policy can enhance economic prosperity. E2 is made up of entrepreneurs, investors and professionals who collectively manage nearly $90 billion of venture capital and private equity. Its members have started well over 1,100 businesses, which in turn have created over 500,000 jobs.

Drawing from this knowledge base, our staff members offer much-needed financial and market analysis of environmental policies. Our ground-breaking reports about how climate legislation could benefit the economy and American workers, for instance, have been cited by Congressional staffers during backroom negotiations and referenced by Senators Boxer and Kerry from the Senate floor. Our analytical work has solidified CMI's authority on the issue.

 

 

CMI Staff

Yerina Mugica

Yerina Mugica is Managing Director at the Natural Resources Defense Council's, Center for Market Innovation (CMI), focusing on green, inclusive, high impact strategies across food, water, shelter and energy. After helping to launch CMI in 2007, Yerina now co-leads CMI in demonstrating new approaches to finance and investment that offer both strong profit potential as well as strong benefits for people and the environment. CMI works together with private and public sector leaders to accelerate the adoption of more resilient, inclusive, and efficient strategies. Yerina's current suite of projects includes demonstrating the value of energy efficiency in affordable multifamily homes, identifying innovative financing opportunities for green infrastructure solutions and developing strategies that will make our food system safer and more sustainable.

Yerina has over a decade of experience researching, developing and deploying effective strategies to drive better performance at the nexus of business and the environment. Prior to joining NRDC, Yerina worked as a consultant to government and private sector clients and as Director of Product Development for an internet startup firm. Yerina holds an MBA from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill with a concentration in Sustainable Enterprise and a BS from Northeastern University.

Douglass Sims

Douglass Sims is Director of Strategy and Finance at the Natural Resources Defense Council's Center for Market Innovation (CMI). In 2012 and 2013, he was instrumental in the launch of the New York Green Bank and currently is working green banks in California and other states. Douglass also sits on the standards committee of the Climate Bonds Initiative, is a leader of the Green City Bonds coalition and is advisor on energy poverty to the Clinton Global Initiative. Over the past 15 years, Douglass has worked in international and national emerging markets first as a senior project finance attorney at a leading international law firm and, since 2010, at the Center for Market Innovation where he co-leads CMI and focuses on next generation energy, food, water, shelter and infrastructure investments. Douglass holds a JD from Harvard Law School and BA from Stanford University.

Roger J. Baneman

Roger J. Baneman is an advisor to the NRDC, working principally with the Center for Market Innovation. He was a tax partner at the law firm of Shearman & Sterling LLP for many years and is currently of counsel to the firm. Roger's current projects include the potential use for clean energy investing of public capital market vehicles such as REITs, mutual funds and publicly traded partnerships, the development of a municipal securities green bond market and tax issues of green infrastructure programs. Early in his career, he served in Treasury's Office of Tax Legislative Counsel, first as attorney-advisor and then as Acting Associate Tax Legislative Counsel. He also taught as an adjunct professor (2003-12) at Cardozo Law School. Roger has a J.D. from Harvard Law School and a B.A. from Yale College.

Sarah Dougherty

Sarah Dougherty is a Welch Environmental Innovation Fellow and is splitting her time between finance work in green stormwater infrastructure and clean energy. She has an educational and work background in economics and finance, including 7 years at the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta. There she led, at different points, economic education and energy analysis, working in alternative energy wherever she could. She had shorter stints at the Coalition for Green Capital, C2ES, a small solar EPC firm and the Federal Home Loan Bank of Atlanta -- focused on asset-backed securities risk analysis. Sarah is originally from Atlanta, GA and has a MA in economics with a focus in public policy.

Wendy Fok

Wendy Fok is Project Director for CMI's High Performance Demonstration Project and leads the overall development and execution.

Prior to joining CMI, Wendy was an independent advisor to building owners and companies seeking a sustainable advantage in the built environment. With Jones Lang LaSalle, she served as the owner's representative and program development lead on the Empire State Building retrofit for Malkin Holdings, and was the Director of Design and Construction at Grand Central Terminal. Prior to her work in real estate professional services, she designed and managed commercial, retail, hospitality and residential projects for leading architectural practices and Fortune 500 clients.

Wendy holds a Bachelor of Architecture degree from University of Texas at Austin. She is a Registered Architect in New York State, a LEED Accredited Professional, and was selected this year for Building Design + Construction’s list of '40 Under 40'.

Philip Henderson

Philip Henderson is a Senior Financial Policy Specialist with the Center for Market Innovation. Philip has worked in residential real estate finance leading innovation and the application of technology. He will be working with CMI on buildings, specifically how to use financing tools to achieve greater energy efficiency. Following work on Capitol Hill and with a DC law firm, he was with LendingTree from 1999 to 2006, as counsel and on the business team. Philip was then General Counsel for Overture Technologies, a firm that creates underwriting systems that enable greater rigor and transparency in the loan decisions and allow investors to access loan-level data underneath securities. Philip has a law degree from the University of Virginia.

Kate Mann is an Efficiency and Finance Specialist at the Natural Resources Defense Council's, Center for Market Innovation (CMI). Kate leads CMI's affordable multifamily housing (AMFH) demonstration project to advance the business case for incorporating energy efficiency and renewable energy measures into existing AMFH rehabilitation plans to preserve affordability and ensure healthy and safe environments for people of modest means. Kate has over 20 years of experience in all aspects of Affordable Multifamily Housing transactions including financing, deal structure, and development. She has served as a senior project manager and underwriter for various Low-Income Housing Tax Credit Investment firms, including, Enterprise Community Investments. Kate also has served in key project management roles at the New York State Housing Finance Agency and at a non-profit Harlem-based supportive housing development and service provider. Kate holds an MBA from Columbia and a BA in Urban Studies from Brown University.

Alisa Valderrama

Alisa Valderrama is a Senior Project Finance Attorney with the Center for Market Innovation at the Natural Resources Defense Council in New York City. Prior to joining NRDC, Alisa worked on the finance team at the Clinton Climate Initiative. Previously, Alisa helped launch the World Bank's first program geared toward corporate responsibility in environmental, social, and governance issues. She has consulted on securities law reform for the United Kingdom Treasury, and assisted in fraud investigations conducted by the United Nations Oil-for-Food Independent Inquiry Committee. Alisa serves on the board of EcoNext, which works with leaders from the insurance, legal, and energy sectors to translate energy savings into financial returns. She also advises social entrepreneurs as a member of Echoing Green's Social Investment Council. She is a graduate of the London School of Economics (LL.M.), the University of Southern California (J.D.), and the University of Pennsylvania (B.A.).

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