June 22, 2024

Tariye Gbadegesin makes history as first African CEO of Climate Investment Funds

Oredola Adeola

Tariye Gbadegesin has been announced as the new CEO of the Climate Investments Funds, effective March 2024.

CIF made this known in a statement obtained by EnergyDay on Monday.

EnergyDay gathered that this appointment marks a significant milestone, as Gbadegesin becomes the first African to hold this position.

According to the statement, Ms Gbadegeshin will lead one of the world’s largest multilateral climate funds with over $11Bn pledged.

The CIF is the pioneer of clean energy transitions, nature-based solutions and resilience in over 70 developing countries.

She joins CIF after holding leadership positions in infrastructure and climate finance as the CEO of ARM-Harith Infrastructure Investments, a leading Pan-African infrastructure fund investing in energy transition and climate resilient infrastructure, and as the Co-Chair of the Voluntary Carbon Markets Integrity Initiative (VCMI), an international organization enabling high-integrity voluntary carbon markets for climate action.

Tariye is a seasoned climate finance executive with over 20 years of experience investing in emerging markets and developing economies, including significant experience in mobilizing private capital for climate action and supporting policy design for energy transition finance and implementation.

In her recent career, she has structured and delivered over $3bn in large-scale energy, infrastructure and industrial investments and has designed and structured multiple complex blended finance funds, platforms, and syndications, mobilizing capital from the private sector, multilateral development banks and concessional windows.

Previously, she worked at the International Monetary Fund, the Boston Consulting Group, Price Waterhouse Coopers, and the Africa Finance Corporation.

Ms Gbadegeshin has served as an advisor on multiple climate and economic development organizations including as member of the Climate Policy Initiative’s (CPI) Global Innovation Lab for Climate Finance; the Infrastructure Advisory Committee for the United Nations Principles for Responsible Investing (PRI); the African Advisory Board of the Glasgow Financial Alliance for Net Zero (GFANZ); and the Advisory Council of the Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC).

A US and Nigerian national, Tariye Gbadegeshin holds a bachelor’s degree in economics from Amherst College and an MBA from Harvard Business School.

In her response after the appointment Ms Gbadegeshin said, “I am deeply honored to join the Climate Investment Funds to accelerate collective climate action. 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.

“This is an exciting time for the global community, as we seek to build a multilateral system fit for purpose to keep 1.5C alive while lifting millions out of poverty.

“With six multilateral development bank partners and 15 years of experience delivering pioneering climate finance, CIF is uniquely placed to deliver in this new era,” said Tariye Gbadegesin.

CIF Trust Fund Committee Co-Chairs, Bob Natifu of Uganda and Edward Webber of the United Kingdom, noted that this appointment, decided by consensus of all committee members, comes at a critical time. Tariye Gbadegesin was selected following a highly competitive international recruitment process featuring outstanding global climate leaders.

“Tariye is a trailblazer, a strategic thinker and relationship-builder with deep expertise, knowledge and experience in climate finance,” they said.

“We have no time to lose, and she brings the drive and vision needed to deliver now for our planet.”

The Trust Fund Committee Co-Chairs also expressed their gratitude to Luis Tineo, CIF’s interim CEO, for his steady leadership during the transition phase. Luis will continue as Interim CEO until March 2024.

Tariye Gbadegesin replaces Mafalda Duarte, who left in July 2023 to lead the Green Climate Fund.