NEW YORK – The Nathan Cummings Foundation announced today that Danielle Deane-Ryan will join the Foundation as director of the Inclusive Clean Economy focus area. Deane-Ryan brings more than two decades of experience shaping advocacy and communications strategies, directing philanthropic investments, and leading equity and inclusion innovation in the clean energy sector. In her new role, she joins the Foundation’s leadership team working to advance solutions to the two most challenging problems of our time – the climate crisis and growing inequality.
“If we want to address the climate crisis and reduce inequality, we must rapidly transition to an inclusive clean economy,” said Sharon Alpert, President and CEO of the Foundation. “Danielle is a visionary thinker who brings a strong equity lens to her work in the climate and clean energy space. She has an unshakeable commitment to ensuring that communities of color take the lead in designing our clean energy future. She comes to this role with extensive networks and experience, and a track record of building and diversifying the field. She approaches the work with humility and a passion for collaboration and partnership that will make her a wonderful fit for our organization and for our partners.”
Most recently, Deane-Ryan served in the Obama Administration as senior advisor for External Affairs and acting director for Stakeholder Engagement at the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE). EERE is one of the world’s largest public investors in clean energy technologies. At DOE, she introduced a more strategic and inclusive approach to stakeholder outreach to improve understanding of the clean energy revolution’s success among a broader array of audiences. She collaborated with DOE’s Jobs Strategy Council to communicate the employment benefits from clean energy sector growth, and partnered with private sector leaders to highlight the impact of EERE’s investments.
"At this critical moment in the fight for clean energy and climate solutions, I am honored to join a foundation with a long-standing focus on integrating social justice into its environmental work,” said Deane-Ryan. “As a native of the climate-vulnerable Caribbean region, and a mother who wants to leave a livable planet for the next generation, I am personally and professionally motivated. I look forward to working with the outstanding board and staff to boost efforts to ensure that the clean economy transition is inclusive. Winning the clean energy future demands it.”
Prior to joining the Obama Administration, Deane-Ryan was principal at the Raben Group. Her time included serving as executive director of Green 2.0. Green 2.0’s work won praise from foundation presidents, chief executives of environmental advocacy organizations and members of Congress, and was recognized by Inside Philanthropy as one of 2015’s Boldest Moves and Top Trends.
Before that, she was the Energy and Environment program director at the Joint Center for Political and Economic Studies and managed the Commission to Engage African Americans on Energy, Climate Change and the Environment. That work brought a greater national spotlight to climate policies that prioritized equity and resilience. She also served as a program officer at the Hewlett Foundation, where she integrated input from grasstops and grassroots stakeholders to design and run the New Constituencies for the Environment initiative, guiding investments of more than $20 million dollars during her eight-year tenure. Those investments strengthened the capacity of advocacy groups and contributed to the adoption of clean air and climate policies that are reducing health care costs and delivering hundreds of millions of dollars of revenue to under-resourced communities in California.
Deane-Ryan is a native of Trinidad and Tobago, and holds a M.Sc. from the London School of Economics in Environment and Development, and a B.A. from Williams College in Political Economy with an Environmental Studies Concentration. Deane-Ryan served on the National Academy of Sciences Gulf Research Program Advisory Board and was a fellow of the UN Millennium Ecosystem Assessment, which won the Zayed prize for focusing the world’s attention on the economic value of natural capital. She serves on the boards of the American Councils for International Education and Resource Media.
Located in New York City, the Nathan Cummings Foundation is a national philanthropic organization that has made $425 million in grants over the past 25 years. The Foundation recently announced a decision to increase its giving in 2017 and 2018, to support its evolving focus.
The Nathan Cummings Foundation partnered with Koya Leadership Partners, a leading executive search firm that works exclusively with nonprofit clients, to conduct a national search for the director of the Inclusive Clean Economy focus area.