Jeff Bezos, CEO of Amazon, announces the formation of The Climate Pledge at the National Press Club on September 19, 2019 in Washington.
Paul Morigi | Getty Images | Amazon
Jeff Bezos, CEO of Amazon, named the head of a top environmental think tank as CEO of its $ 10 billion Earth fund on Tuesday.
In an Instagram post, Bezos said Andrew Steer, who currently serves as president and CEO of the World Resources Institute, a nonprofit environmental organization, has agreed to run the Earth Fund.
“Lauren and I are thrilled to have Andrew on board and we are very excited to see what lies ahead for the fund and our partners,” Bezos wrote in the post, referring to his friend Lauren Sanchez. Sanchez has attended previous meetings with recipients of the Earth Fund, the Earth Fund said.
The Earth Fund, launched last February, aims to combat the effects of climate change by providing grants to scientists, activists and other organizations for their efforts to “preserve and protect the natural world”. Last November, Bezos announced the first recipients of the Earth Fund. Groups received $ 791 million in grants. Among the recipients were Conservation, Natural Resources Defense Council, World Wildlife Fund and the World Resources Institute.
Bezos actively participated in the interview process and hired Steer, the Earth Fund said. In addition to running the World Resources Institute, Steer is closely associated with global groups dealing with environmental and economic issues. He previously held senior positions at the World Bank.
In a series of tweets, Steer said the Earth Fund will invest in scientists, NGOs, activists and the private sector to advance new technology, investments, policy change and behavior. One focus of the Earth Fund, which Bezos wants to “reduce” by 2030, will be the effects of climate change on “poor and marginalized communities,” said Steer.
Steer’s appointment comes as Bezos is expected to step down as CEO of Amazon later this year and hand over the helm to Andy Jassy, CEO of AWS. Bezos is expected to turn his attention more closely to projects such as the Earth Fund, his space company Blue Origin, the Washington Post, and the Amazon Day 1 Fund.