World Bank Exec­u­tive and Inter­na­tion­al Cli­mate Expert Tapped to Lead the New York Cli­mate Exchange on Gov­er­nors Island


The New York Cli­mate Exchange, a first-of-its-kind orga­ni­za­tion work­ing to imple­ment inno­v­a­tive cli­mate solu­tions in New York City and across the globe, today announced Dr. Stephen Ham­mer as its found­ing chief exec­u­tive offi­cer. Ham­mer is a lead­ing glob­al cli­mate pol­i­cy expert who has served as top cli­mate advi­sor at the World Bank for the past decade. In his new role as CEO of The New York Cli­mate Exchange, Ham­mer will lead a first-ever con­sor­tium of over 45 part­ner orga­ni­za­tions com­mit­ted to solv­ing the most press­ing cli­mate chal­lenges of our time. 

New York City May­or Eric Adams and the Trust for Gov­er­nors Island select­ed the New York Cli­mate Exchange – known as The Exchange – in April 2023, fol­low­ing a two-year com­pet­i­tive process seek­ing an edu­ca­tion­al and research part­ner to anchor a cross-sec­tor cen­ter ded­i­cat­ed to devel­op­ing and scal­ing cli­mate solu­tions for New York City and beyond. The Exchange will even­tu­al­ly be housed in a $700 mil­lion state-of-the-art facil­i­ty on Gov­er­nors Island set to open in 2028

As a world-renowned leader with expe­ri­ence dri­ving cli­mate pol­i­cy in New York City and on the inter­na­tion­al stage, Dr. Ham­mer is unique­ly posi­tioned to con­vene part­ners across sec­tors to advance cli­mate solu­tions in New York City. Most recent­ly, Dr. Ham­mer spent a decade at the World Bank as senior pol­i­cy advi­sor on urban-scale cli­mate solu­tions, glob­al cli­mate pol­i­cy, and finance issues, where he spear­head­ed key cli­mate part­ner­ships with the Unit­ed Nations Frame­work Con­ven­tion on Cli­mate Change, the UN Sec­re­tary General’s team, and the G20, and sup­port­ed efforts to main­stream cli­mate change into all facets of the Bank’s lend­ing operations. 

He pre­vi­ous­ly held fac­ul­ty posts at MIT’s Depart­ment of Urban Stud­ies and Plan­ning (DUSP), Colum­bia University’s School of Inter­na­tion­al and Pub­lic Affairs (SIPA), and the Pratt Insti­tute, where he spe­cial­ized in urban ener­gy sys­tems and pol­i­cy, often with a spe­cif­ic focus on New York City. He also co-found­ed and co-direct­ed the Urban Cli­mate Change Research Net­work (UCCRN), an inter­na­tion­al con­sor­tium of researchers inter­est­ed in cli­mate change from an urban per­spec­tive, and served on May­or Bloomberg’s Ener­gy Pol­i­cy Task Force, advis­ing on PlaNYC, the City’s long-term growth and sus­tain­abil­i­ty ini­tia­tive. His full bio can be found here. 

Under our admin­is­tra­tion, New York City is becom­ing the glob­al leader in devel­op­ing solu­tions for cli­mate change while cre­at­ing thou­sands of good-pay­ing green jobs for New York­ers,” said New York City May­or Eric Adams. With the appoint­ment of Dr. Ham­mer as the CEO of the first-in-the-nation New York Cli­mate Exchange, our city takes one step clos­er to open­ing this hub of future inno­va­tion, bring­ing togeth­er our lead­ing research and edu­ca­tion­al insti­tu­tions, and cre­at­ing the eco­nom­ic and aca­d­e­m­ic oppor­tu­ni­ties New York­ers deserve. His aca­d­e­m­ic exper­tise and proven record of lead­er­ship in New York City and across the globe make Dr. Ham­mer unique­ly posi­tioned to serve as the Exchange’s first leader.” 

New York City is lead­ing the charge in gen­er­at­ing real solu­tions to help cities adapt to the glob­al cli­mate cri­sis while ready­ing New York­ers for the cli­mate jobs of the future. We’re thrilled to have glob­al­ly renowned cli­mate expert Stephen Ham­mer lead­ing the New York Cli­mate Exchange, and are con­fi­dent he will help pro­pel our efforts to meet the chal­lenges the cli­mate cri­sis pos­es,” said Deputy May­or Maria Tor­res-Springer

There is tru­ly no orga­ni­za­tion like this across the globe. World­wide, too many sec­tors – the busi­ness com­mu­ni­ty, non-prof­its, gov­ern­ment, aca­d­e­mics, and more – are work­ing in silos. The Exchange is not just anoth­er insti­tute – it’s part think tank, part do-tank – serv­ing as a train­ing ground for the cli­mate lead­ers of tomor­row and an incu­ba­tor for tech­nol­o­gy and mar­ket entre­pre­neurs. It’s meant to inno­vate and have an impact, to defend sci­ence, and to make New York City a liv­ing lab­o­ra­to­ry for inter­na­tion­al solu­tions. Cli­mate change is going to rever­ber­ate across the world and every aspect of soci­ety, and work­ing with our world-class part­ners, we’re going to bring peo­ple togeth­er to deliv­er real impact on this col­lec­tive, exis­ten­tial chal­lenge,” said Dr. Stephen Ham­mer, found­ing CEO of The New York Cli­mate Exchange. 

In Dr. Ham­mer, we have a true con­ven­er capa­ble of work­ing across sec­tors, nur­tur­ing mean­ing­ful solu­tions to the cli­mate cri­sis, and deliv­er­ing action. As com­mu­ni­ties across the world strug­gle to adapt to the effects of cli­mate change, we are putting a high­ly cre­den­tialed leader at the helm to expe­dite solu­tions scal­able for any com­mu­ni­ty. We look for­ward to work­ing with Dr. Ham­mer and our dozens of part­ners to cre­ate scal­able solu­tions,” said Mau­rie McIn­nis, chair of the board of direc­tors of The New York Cli­mate Exchange, and the pres­i­dent of Stony Brook University. 

The Cli­mate Exchange will help New York remain a glob­al leader in devel­op­ing and spread­ing sus­tain­able solu­tions — a posi­tion that Dr. Ham­mer helped us estab­lish more than a decade ago,” said Michael R. Bloomberg, UN sec­re­tary-gen­er­al’s spe­cial envoy on Cli­mate Ambi­tion and Solu­tions, 108th may­or of New York City and founder of Bloomberg LP and Bloomberg Phil­an­thropies. With the Exchange’s focus on pub­lic-pri­vate part­ner­ships, it can help cities be bold­er, con­nect to pri­vate finance, and move faster on cli­mate action. Our team at Bloomberg Phil­an­thropies is look­ing for­ward to work­ing with Dr. Ham­mer as he begins lead­ing this first-of-its kind organization.” 

Com­prised of world-class orga­ni­za­tions across acad­e­mia, busi­ness, and com­mu­ni­ty, The Exchange’s part­ner net­work fos­ters col­lab­o­ra­tion to dri­ve inno­va­tion and imple­ment impact­ful solu­tions. With 14 aca­d­e­m­ic and cor­po­rate orga­ni­za­tions and over 30 com­mu­ni­ty enti­ties from envi­ron­men­tal jus­tice, research, and gov­ern­ment orga­ni­za­tions in New York City, part­ners have begun to work togeth­er to advance cli­mate edu­ca­tion, research, job train­ing, pub­lic pro­grams, and com­mer­cial­iza­tion to pre­pare com­mu­ni­ties to respond to cli­mate chal­lenges. These efforts are aid­ed by ini­tial invest­ments of a com­bined $100 mil­lion from the Simons Foun­da­tion and Simons Foun­da­tion Inter­na­tion­al, and $50 mil­lion from Bloomberg Phil­an­thropies. Part­ners of The Exchange include: 

  • Boston Con­sult­ing Group 
  • Geor­gia Insti­tute of Technology 
  • Good Old Low­er East Side 
  • IBM
  • Pace Uni­ver­si­ty
  • Pratt Insti­tute
  • Stony Brook University 
  • Uni­ver­si­ty of Washington 
  • Duke Uni­ver­si­ty
  • Moody’s
  • New York University 
  • Rochester Insti­tute of Technology 
  • SUNY Mar­itime College 
  • The City Uni­ver­si­ty of New York 
  • Uni­ver­si­ty of Oxford 

The Simons Foun­da­tion is thrilled to wel­come Dr. Stephen Ham­mer as the found­ing CEO of The New York Cli­mate Exchange. The work starts with under­stand­ing the cli­mate sci­ence, mod­el­ing the risks, and esti­mat­ing its impacts on New York City, its infra­struc­ture, and its envi­ron­ment. New York can be a mod­el for the world’s cities. Dr. Ham­mer is poised to lead a trail­blaz­ing orga­ni­za­tion that brings togeth­er a broad and diverse set of tal­ents to address the great­est chal­lenge of our times, cli­mate change,” said David Spergel, pres­i­dent of the Simons Foundation. 

With the New York Cli­mate Exchange as its anchor insti­tu­tion, the Cen­ter for Cli­mate Solu­tions will posi­tion New York City as a leader in devel­op­ing equi­table solu­tions for cities around the world. We are thrilled to work hand in hand with Dr. Stephen Ham­mer to uti­lize Gov­er­nors Island as a hub for bring­ing inno­v­a­tive ideas to life for com­mu­ni­ties on a local and glob­al scale,” said Clare New­man, pres­i­dent & CEO of the Trust for Gov­er­nors Island. 

With its focus on research, edu­ca­tion, and work­force devel­op­ment, the New York Cli­mate Exchange, led by Stony Brook Uni­ver­si­ty with the sup­port of sev­er­al part­ners includ­ing SUNY Mar­itime, will pio­neer ground-break­ing solu­tions to reduce our car­bon foot­print, com­bat cli­mate change, and advance cli­mate resilience, while grow­ing green jobs. Dr. Hammer’s track record of dri­ving inno­v­a­tive cli­mate pol­i­cy in New York City makes him the ide­al found­ing leader for the Exchange. With his deep-root­ed expe­ri­ence and con­nec­tions, Dr. Ham­mer is unique­ly posi­tioned to dri­ve the changes required to ush­er in a sus­tain­able, green future for all of New York,” said SUNY Chan­cel­lor John B. King Jr.

We could not be more pleased to wel­come Dr. Stephen Ham­mer, who embod­ies The Exchange’s mis­sion. He has an inter­na­tion­al net­work and unri­valed New York City expe­ri­ence, and he’s unique­ly qual­i­fied to be a Con­ven­er-in-Chief’ for experts every­where at a time when human­i­ty needs it most,” said Chaou­ki T. Abdal­lah, CEO search com­mit­tee co-chair, vice chair of the board of direc­tors of The Exchange, and exec­u­tive vice pres­i­dent for the research at the Geor­gia Insti­tute of Tech­nol­o­gy, and Maya Tol­stoy, CEO search com­mit­tee co-chair and dean of the Uni­ver­si­ty of Washington’s Col­lege of the Environment.