Tariye Gbadegesin Becomes First African CEO of Climate Investment Funds

The Climate Investment Funds, a multilateral lender dedicated to accelerating investment in the developing world and collaborating with institutions like the World Bank, has appointed Tariye Gbadegesin as its new chief executive—marking the first time an African leader will steer the organization.

Gbadegesin, holding dual citizenship of the U.S. and Nigeria, steps into the role as the COP28 climate talks commence. Amidst criticism regarding the leadership of development banks, often dominated by individuals born and rooted in the Global North, Gbadegesin’s appointment signifies a significant shift.

Scheduled to assume office in March 2024, Gbadegesin boasts over two decades of experience in investment across developing economies. She presently serves as the chief executive of ARM Harith Infrastructure Investments, overseeing a pan-African infrastructure fund.

Taking over from Mafalda Duarte, who departed in July 2023 to lead the Green Climate Fund, Gbadegesin will follow interim CEO Luis Tineo until her formal commencement in March 2024.

Reflecting on her appointment, Gbadegesin emphasized the urgency of collaborative action, stating, “Developing countries are at the forefront of the climate crisis, and we will only meet this decisive moment by working together to scale climate finance where it is needed most.”

Apart from her new role, Gbadegesin serves as the co-chair of the Voluntary Carbon Markets Integrity Initiative (VCMI). Her extensive career includes tenures at the International Monetary Fund, consulting firms such as Boston Consulting Group and PwC, and the Africa Finance Corp.

“Tariye is a trailblazer, a strategic thinker and relationship-builder with deep expertise, knowledge and experience in climate finance,” said CIF Trust Fund Committee Co-Chairs, Bob Natifu and Edward Webber.

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