Center for Market Innovation
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.
Climate and Energy Experts
Paul Davis is a Welch Environmental Innovation Fellow for the Center for Market Innovation. Paul’s work focuses on issues relating to private sector financing of urban green infrastructure and sustainable foodsheds. Prior to joining NRDC, Paul was a co-founder and Director of Operations at ReGenerate Solutions, a small-scale anaerobic digestion startup that worked to turn urban organic waste into an on-site source of renewable energy. In addition to his entrepreneurial background, Paul also brings urban planning and production agriculture experience to our team, having worked as a Public Transit Planner for the San Diego Association of Governments and in vegetable production for a 250-acre organic farm. In 2011, Paul earned a MBA and M.S. in Natural Resources from the University of Michigan’s Erb Institute for Global Sustainable Enterprise.
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 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.
is Associate Director at the Natural Resource Defense Council's Center for Market Innovation, focusing on directing private capital toward solutions that are both environmentally and economically sustainable. Yerina leads CMI's team in demonstrating real world approaches to leveraging markets to drive environmental solutions, with projects in the real estate, green infrastructure and regenerative agriculture sectors. 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.
Yerina holds an M.B.A. from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill with a concentration in Sustainable Enterprise and a B.S. from Northeastern University. Prior to joining NRDC, Yerina worked as a consultant to government and private sector clients and as Director of Product Development for an internet start up firm. Yerina also led sustainability research initiatives at UNC's Center for Sustainable Enterprise. Yerina is on the board of Clean-Air Cool-Planet a northeast based organization that works to solve the global warming problem through civic engagement, education and effective policy.
Jay Orfield is a Welch Environmental Innovation Fellow with the Center for Market Innovation and is focused on the High Performance Demonstration Project. Jay holds a M.B.A. from Columbia University and a B.S. from the University of Florida. He is a licensed Professional Engineer with more than ten years of design, construction, and real estate private equity experience. Jay served on New York City's Green Codes Task Force in association with the Urban Green Council, and he has a special interest in applications of technology that bring transparency to the design-build process. Previously, he co-founded a green home design company that provided users with visualization and real-time pricing of sustainable design options.
Douglass Sims Senior Energy Project Finance Specialist,joined the Center for Market Innovation in April 2010. Doug will work on issues relating to the financing of renewable power in the US and internationally. Prior to joining NRDC, Doug was an attorney for 8 years at international law firm Allen & Overy LLP, where he was part of the Project Finance and Latin America groups. He represented independent power companies and other infrastructure investors as well as public and private financial institutions in connection with power and infrastructure projects, mainly in emerging markets, including Mexico, Chile, Ecuador, Togo, Burkina Faso, Trinidad & Tobago and Brazil. He is a graduate of Harvard Law School (J.D.) and Stanford University (B.A.).
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.).
Lauren Zullo is a Merck Environmental Innovation Fellow with the Center for Market Innovation, where she will focus on the High Performance Demonstration Project and the City Energy Project. Prior to joining NRDC, Lauren worked with commercial real estate development firm Greenebaum & Rose Associates in Washington, DC where she focused on building operations, asset management, and sustainability initiatives across a 1M square foot portfolio. Most recently, she managed the LEED O&M® certification and retrofit of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission headquarters, one of the largest privately led LEED transformations in the Federal government. Lauren holds a B.A. from Bowdoin College and is a LEED Accredited Professional.
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CMI on Switchboard
- New initiative to recognize most energy-efficient commercial real estate tenants in the U.S.
- posted by Yerina Mugica, 7/17/13
- TENANT STAR: Energy Star Companion Seeks to Transform Recognition in Commercial Interiors
- posted by Wendy Fok, 7/16/13
- Promoting Transportation Innovation: Champions of Change
- posted by Deron Lovaas, 5/9/13
- Overcoming hurdles to growth in the renewable energy sector
- posted by Cai Steger, 1/22/13
- Build Smart New York: The Governor Said So
- posted by Greg Hale, 1/9/13
NRDC Gets Top Ratings from the Charity Watchdogs
- Charity Navigator awards NRDC its 4-star top rating.
- Worth magazine named NRDC one of America's 100 best charities.
- NRDC meets the highest standards of the Wise Giving Alliance of the Better Business Bureau.