An innovator in the field of sustainable energy market development for more than 25 years. Russell leads IFC’s energy access advisory business where he works with the private sector to mobilize commercial investment to expand energy access for the underserved. Russell’s focus on market transformation over his career has informed the model for IFC’s approach to accelerate uptake of climate-friendly technology and expand access to energy and water. As the creator of the World Bank Group’s Lighting Global program which has been the catalyst for the dynamic solar off-grid energy services market, and manager of IFC’s global portfolio of energy access programs, Russell’s work focuses on innovative business models which enable commercially sustainable private sector delivery of energy and water services.
Previously, Russell led IFC’s climate change advisory business, leading development of IFC’s climate advisory strategy, and building a global portfolio of advisory products that support commercial private sector investment that builds climate resilience and that scale up adoption of low carbon technologies and practices. In addition to his work to scale up market development for climate friendly technologies, his innovative work with commercial banks was the foundation of IFC’s $1 billion sustainable energy finance business.
Prior to joining IFC in 2000, Russell was President of the International Institute for Energy Conservation. Previously, as Vice-President of Energy Management Services, he developed distributed generation and energy efficiency projects throughout the United States. While completing his studies in energy and natural resource policy and finance at the University of North Carolina and Harvard University/Kennedy School of Government, Russell did econometric modeling at the Oak Ridge National Laboratory, and worked on the first energy performance contract (ESCO) agreements in the United States at the law firm of Lane and Edson, LLC.