Leslie Labruto joins Environmental Defense Fund as Managing Director of Sustainable Finance

Leslie will lead the Sustainable Finance strategy, working closely with colleagues across the organization and around the world to leverage the financial sector for good.

October 30, 2023
Negin Janati, ‪(203) 246-7715‬, njanati@edf.org

Environmental Defense Fund (EDF) is pleased to announce Leslie Labruto has joined its EDF+Business team as Managing Director of Sustainable Finance. Leslie will lead the Sustainable Finance strategy, working closely with colleagues across the organization and around the world to leverage the financial sector for good.

For more than 30 years, EDF has been working to create a more sustainable world where companies, communities, and the environment thrive. EDF forges unexpected partnerships that catalyze environmental leadership and collaboration across companies and entire sectors, bringing cutting-edge science, policy, and economic expertise to high-impact companies – including Amazon, KKR, Tata and Walmart– to transform business as usual in their products, operations, and advocacy.

EDF spurs the financial sector to catalyze a green and equitable economy by equipping them with the independent science-based analysis and tools needed to manage climate risk, assess opportunities, and accelerate urgent action.

Ms. Labruto brings a proven track record in driving sustainable finance initiatives, with global experience in strategy, clean energy, decarbonization, and international stewardship. She is a sought-after public speaker, having presented at the World Economic Forum, the United Nations Partnership Exchange, and the National Academy of Sciences.

Leslie's career spans various international leadership roles in both developed and emerging markets. Previously she served at the London School of Economics as the Founding Director of 100x Impact Accelerator, the world’s largest social impact accelerator backed by £50,000,000 and world-class evidence-based research, where she built and led strategy, team, partnerships, and culture. 100x seeks to source, select, and scale ventures in search of creating new classes of social unicorns – organizations driving positive change on the scale of billions.

Leslie was also Head of Investment Strategy and the Global Head of Energy at Acumen Fund, where she led a global team spanning seven geographies in East Africa, West Africa, India, Pakistan, Latin America, the US, and Europe. She spearheaded the creation of Acumen's innovative fund to provide affordable and clean energy access to first-time users in low-income populations in 16 countries in Africa. She also led Acumen’s $20M Pioneer Energy Investment Initiative (PEII) and structured, built, and fundraised the $100M+ global covid relief fund for energy access companies.

Leslie joined Acumen from the Clinton Foundation, where she served as the Global Director of Clean Energy for the Clinton Climate Initiative (CCI) and led programmatic strategy and government partnerships. Her team supported decarbonization efforts for small-island developing states, which contain some of the most vulnerable communities to climate change.

Leslie holds two engineering degrees in Civil and Mechanical Engineering from Imperial College London and Vanderbilt University, where she served on the Board of Trustees from 2011-2015. She currently serves on the Boards of multiple social enterprises around the world.

“Leslie’s skills and experience in climate science and evidence-based solutions, coupled with her deep understanding of sustainable finance, will strengthen EDF’s deep network in investments and partnerships,” said Dr. Lea Borkenhagen, Senior Vice President of EDF+Business.

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One of the world’s leading international nonprofit organizations, Environmental Defense Fund (edf.org) creates transformational solutions to the most serious environmental problems. To do so, EDF links science, economics, law, and innovative private-sector partnerships. With more than 3 million members and offices in the United States, China, Mexico, Indonesia and the European Union, EDF’s scientists, economists, attorneys and policy experts are working in 28 countries to turn our solutions into action. Connect with us on Twitter @EnvDefenseFund