A headshot of Manish Bapna Manish Bapna

President & Chief Executive Officer

Manish Bapna joined NRDC as president and chief executive officer in August 2021, taking the reins of one of the world’s largest and most influential environmental organizations. With more than 700 attorneys, scientists, advocates, and policy experts on staff, as well as three million supporting members, NRDC is confronting the interlocking climate, health, nature, and inequity crises facing the world today.

During his 25-year career prior to joining NRDC, Bapna’s leadership roles have focused on scaling solutions at the intersection of the environment and human development. Most recently, he served as executive vice president and managing director of the World Resources Institute (WRI). Over his 14-year tenure, WRI increased its impact and reach, with staff and budget expanding sixfold. Bapna played the lead role in establishing WRI offices in China, India, and Brazil and was a key architect of several influential, multi-stakeholder initiatives, such as the Global Commission on Adaptation, NDC Partnership, New Climate Economy, and the International Research Forum on the Sustainable Development Goals. He also helped launch WRI’s programs on cities, energy, finance, and adaptation.

An economist by training, Bapna became the executive director of the Bank Information Center (BIC) in 2003, a nonprofit that works to protect the rights of local communities and the environment from the negative impacts of projects and policies financed by development banks. He was inspired to join BIC after serving as a senior economist at the World Bank for seven years, where he designed and implemented water, forestry, and rural development projects in Asia and Latin America. Several of these projects received international recognition and were highly rated in independent evaluations. Prior to joining the World Bank, Bapna was a strategy consultant for McKinsey & Company in the financial services and technology industries.

Bapna has testified before Congress on international sustainability issues and holds affiliations with international environmental bodies, including China Council for International Cooperation on Environment and Development, Meridian Institute, and Natural Resources Governance Institute.

Bapna was born outside of Chicago. He holds master’s degrees in business and political and economic development from Harvard University and a bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering from MIT. His wife, Geeta, works for the International Rescue Committee, and they live in Maryland with their two children, Laila and Arav, and their exuberant dog, Finley.

Follow Bapna on Twitter: @ManishBapnaNRDC

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