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. His innovative work with commercial banks catalyzed IFC’s $1 billion sustainable energy finance business. Russell’s focus on market transformation provided the model for IFC’s approach to accelerate uptake of climate-friendly technology and expand access to energy and water. The creator of the World Bank Group’s Lighting Africa and Lighting Global program, and manager of IFC’s 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.
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.