Longevity Partners Appoints Two Department Heads to Build and Train Workforce in Push Towards US Decarbonization
Longevity Partners, one of the world’s fastest-growing ESG advisory businesses, just announced the appointment of two new department heads in the US to support the firm’s rapid expansion stateside. Dr. Molly Polk is now Head of ESG Strategy USA and Dr. Varun Rai is now Head of Net Zero Carbon USA. Since opening its US headquarters in Austin just over a year ago, Longevity’s US workforce has more than tripled with the goal of growing to 50 people by 2023.
Previously, Polk served as the Director of Sustainability Studies at The University of Texas at Austin. She has a PhD in Geography from UT-Austin. After transitioning from her role at UT-Austin in the Department of Geography and the Environment as an Assistant Professor of Instruction and Director of Sustainability Studies, Molly will be leading a team of analysts and consultants across the US and advising on project delivery. She is also developing new service lines along with quality control assurance. Beginning in 2011, Polk worked on a transdisciplinary research team funded by the National Science Foundation that examined the linked social and ecological effects of glacier recession in Peru’s Huascaran National Park. Their work has resulted in numerous policy-relevant scientific publications.
“Longevity’s impressive entrance into the US market is a testament to the untapped demand for guidance in transitioning assets to net zero carbon,” said Molly Polk, Longevity Partners Head of ESG Strategy. “I’m eager to combine my expertise in sustainability and previous work in commercial real estate to collaborate with this motivated team to build out ESG strategy in novel ways.”
Varun Rai is the Walt and Elspeth Rostow Professor and the Associate Dean for Research at the LBJ School of Public Affairs at the University of Texas at Austin, where he also holds a joint appointment in the Walker Department of Mechanical Engineering. Until recently, he was the director of the Energy Institute at UT Austin. He holds an MS and a Ph.D. in mechanical engineering from Stanford University and a bachelor’s in mechanical engineering from the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Kharagpur.
Rai will oversee the execution of US energy efficiency and net zero carbon projects for the company and guide the net-zero carbon business unit strategy. His interdisciplinary research at the intersection of energy systems, complex systems, decision science, and public policy is focused on developing solutions for a sustainable and resilient energy system. He was a Global Economic Fellow in 2009. During 2013-2015 he was a Commissioner for the vertically-integrated electric utility Austin Energy. In 2016 the Association for Public Policy Analysis & Management (APPAM) awarded him the David N. Kershaw Award and Prize, which “was established to honor persons who, at under the age of 40, have made a distinguished contribution to the field of public policy analysis and management.”
“I am elated to have the opportunity to apply my expertise towards energy efficiency and net-zero carbon solutions at Longevity and be part of a team on the cutting edge of the sustainability journey in the US,” said Varun Rai, Longevity Partners Head of Net Zero Carbon. “The time to transition is now and I look forward to rapid acceleration of services in pursuit of net zero.”
See related article: RenaissanceRe Advances Climate Leadership – Kevin O’Donnell Appointed Chair of ClimateWise; Company Announces Senior ESG and Climate Roles
“Having Molly and Varun on board is a game changer for our firm. This move will allow us to rapidly train and scale the next generation of sustainability leaders for our US operations and respond to increasing client demand,” said Etienne Cadestin, Founder and Global CEO of Longevity Partners. “Our partners deserve best in class ESG and energy professionals to innovate and deliver their climate goals in the next 20 years and this tangible move demonstrates that we are committed to growing a robust team of experts to provide a world-class ESG service in the US.”
Longevity Partners specializes in holistic ESG program coordination projects, ESG certifications, net zero carbon building design and audits, ESG due diligence projects as well as renewable energy projects. Longevity Partners now operates in over 40 countries with new offices in Munich, Paris, Milan, Amsterdam, Tokyo, and Seattle.
Source: Longevity Partners
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