Marilyn Waite is a program officer in environment at the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation. She manages the foundation’s grantmaking on climate and clean energy finance with the goal of addressing climate change by accelerating the transition to a climate-friendly economy. Her grantmaking mobilizes private capital investments in low-carbon and climate-friendly energy infrastructure and systems, seeking to redirect finance from high- to low-carbon activities and encourage wiser energy investments. A key component to this work includes assessing climate finance flows, identifying ways to lower the cost and risk of investment, and supporting innovations in capital markets to address investor requirements for clean energy and climate-aligned projects.
Waite has worked across four continents in venture investment, startups, and low-carbon energy. She previously led the clean energy practice at Village Capital, where she sourced and performed due diligence for early-stage startups solving energy challenges and built a network of 1,000-plus clean tech entrepreneurs, investors, corporations, and government stakeholders. As a senior research fellow at Project Drawdown, she modeled and forecasted energy solutions to climate change. Marilyn led several operational and research and development projects at AREVA in France, including performing technical and economic studies in the energy-water nexus and the nuclear energy cycle. Author of Sustainability at Work, Waite serves on the board of directors for the Biomimicry Institute and lectures on sustainable business at the University of International Business and Economics in Beijing. She is an E2 1 Hotels Fellow, and as such, her work and writing highlights opportunities in women-led, green economy startups throughout the country.
She holds a bachelor’s of science degree in civil and environmental engineering, magna cum laude, from Princeton University and a master’s degree with distinction in engineering for sustainable development from the University of Cambridge.