PhD. Lea Borkenhagen joins EDF as SVP EDF+Business

Senior Environmental Strategist Dr. Lea Borkenhagen will lead the Environmental Protection Fund’s Private Sector Engagement arm. EDF+Business is known for forging unexpected partnerships with high-impact companies including McDonald’s, Walmart and KKR to transform business as usual in product, operations and advocacy. EDF+Business has since expanded its work in accelerating corporate net-zero action, environmental policy advocacy, investor engagement on climate issues, and removing toxic chemicals from products.

“I am delighted to lead the talented and visionary EDF+Business team as we accelerate the enterprise’s journey towards a net zero, healthy and fair economy. Together we will deliver on an ambitious vision to enable system-changing collaboration and innovation, and Harness all of the EDF’s scientific, policy-based and business-oriented capabilities to achieve our goals and help inform new approaches to our shared future,” said Dr. Bockenhagen.

PhD. Borkenhagen brings 20 years of experience in driving positive environmental and social outcomes through business leadership by developing future-proof strategies with the world’s top food, fashion, retail and technology companies. She has served as a global strategy and innovation advisor to the Earthshot Awards, developing strategies to find solutions to the world’s most pressing environmental challenges. Prior to that, Lea spent ten years at Nike, where she led brand collaborations for global fashion, retail and athletic apparel companies with over $250B in revenue to accelerate industry-wide sustainability impact. Lea led Nike’s strategy to overturn decades of workforce management as a revenue driver, from factories to boardroom jobs.

Lea applies her field knowledge in agriculture, forestry and manufacturing to innovation for corporate sustainability. Before joining Nike, Lea led Oxfam UK’s Global Livelihoods effort, enabling her team to co-found the Sustainable Palm Oil Roundtable and the Better Cotton Initiative, establish a global framework for understanding the impact of business on poverty, and create the Acceleration Fund Mechanisms to support businesses that raise wages for low-income people.

Lea holds a Ph.D. in Environmental Science, Policy, and Management from the University of California, Berkeley, with a focus on agriculture in Indonesia, and is a Fulbright Scholar in Côte d’Ivoire. Earlier in her career, Lea focused on biodiversity and forest conservation, contributing to the first WRI-IUCN-UNEP Global Biodiversity Strategy, she pioneered gender issues and was awarded the UNEP New Generation Leader Award . Her undergraduate degree at Harvard studied primate and forest ecology in Indonesia.

“We must drive significant emissions reductions in the global economy by 2030. We are delighted to welcome Dr. EDF+Business Vice President Elaine Gowdy:

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