CDP North America seeks an inspired leader as its next President to lead a highly capable and financially strong organization to greater growth and impact. CDP provides the only global system that tracks how companies and cities measure, disclose, manage, and act upon vital environmental information. CDP’s annual request for information from public companies is sent on behalf of its investor signatory base, which includes approximately 700 key financial service sector enterprises. By securing quantitative and qualitative information on environmental performance, CDP analysts and researchers can then transform that data into detailed analyses on critical environmental risks, opportunities, and impacts for investors, policymakers, and other constituents worldwide. CDP maintains and makes public the largest collection of global climate change, water, and forest risk data to better inform sustainable strategic business, investment, and policy decisions.
CDP’s work has never been more urgent. A recent United Nation’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change issued a landmark report illustrating how much more dire and immediate the consequences of climate change are. According to the report, if greenhouse gas emissions continue at the current rate, the atmosphere will warm up by as much 2.7 degrees Fahrenheit by 2040. The world could be much closer than previously thought to a situation of mass food shortages, wildfires, die-off of coral reefs, coastal flooding, and drought. To avoid the most serious effects, a major transformation of the world economy must occur.
CDP North America has an urgent mission to convene and collaborate with a diverse array of private sector, government, and subnational actors to initiate important changes where others have not. It has a unique model based on the comprehensive gathering of information and its strategic application, as well as its significant multiplier effect given its extensive user community. Given that North America is home to the largest concentration of companies and capital, and in turn has the largest impact on the environment, the President of CDP North America has an opportunity to accelerate and help reshape the direction of sustainability issues throughout the world. To achieve this, the next President will expand and deepen partnerships with investors, private companies, NGOs, and governments; increase CDP North America’s revenue through fundraising and fees; raise visibility through an effective program for strategic communications; and work effectively and collaboratively with the larger CDP global organization.
The President reports to the Board of CDP North America and CDP’s Global Leadership. The President will be responsible for leading a staff of 50 in New York City and deliver on a $10 million budget for 2018/2019.
CDP North America has engaged the search firm Isaacson, Miller for this important recruitment. Instructions for applying, nominating, or inquiring can be found at the end of this page.
CDP invented the practice of comprehensive annual environmental disclosure in 2002, when it sent its first information request for climate information to public companies. At the time, CDP had just 35 investor signatories with combined assets of $4.5 trillion, with 245 companies responding. Today, CDP has roughly 700 signatories, with combined assets of $87 trillion and over 7000 companies responding from 90 countries on climate change, water security, and deforestation.
Investors want to align their portfolios with the transition to a sustainable economy. This requires the movement of large amounts of financial capital toward low-carbon, less water-intensive investments. CDP data has been essential to enabling this progress. In its supply chain program, CDP has 115 organizations, representing a combined annual spend of more than $3.3 trillion, requesting data from over 11,500 suppliers. CDP’s newest disclosure program gathers data from over 750 cities and states.
CDP’s launch in the UK in 2002 was the first systematic linkage between environmental and financial information. This request for information sparked a rapid growth in environmental disclosure around the world, engaging investors, companies, and governments on the benefits of greater transparency. And today CDP remains the world’s authoritative global platform for environmental transparency and accountability data for multiple stakeholders.
In addition to its core disclosure programs, CDP provides a variety of channels for global leaders to support the advancement of environmental risk management and action. For instance:
Outside of the private sector, CDP has done much to engage cities around the world with respect to climate change. Over the last six years there has been a 10-fold rise in cities disclosing to CDP. CDP has been an essential pillar within the work of the Global Covenant of Mayors for Climate and Energy and the C40 Cities Climate Leadership Group by providing the established reporting framework and evidence base with which cities and key partners can track emissions reductions, adaptation progress, and share best practices.
Current Focus Areas
CDP’s global disclosure system enables companies, cities, states, and regions to measure and manage their environmental impacts in three focus areas:
Current Leadership and Organization
CDP Global has regional offices and local partners spanning 50 countries and over 250 staff worldwide. It has a global operating budget of $28 million. Paul Simpson is the current CEO. Paul has been at the forefront of CDP's expansion since its inception in 2000 and has led CDP from a climate-specific focus into other environmental areas.
CDP NORTH AMERICA
CDP started a North American program as a sponsored project within Rockefeller Philanthropy Advisors in 2007. This North American operation was incorporated as a not-for-profit organization in 2011, and it then became an independent tax-exempt organization in 2014 with its own board of directors. CDP North America leads and supports integrated, mission focused programming in close partnership with the international offices of CDP Global.
The organization has experienced tremendous growth and established a great foundation for the future. The CDP North America office in New York City is the largest office outside of the headquarters in London, with approximately 50 employees. With 214 investor signatories, 125 supply chain and reporter services members, and close to 2,000 disclosing companies, CDP North America leads the way in driving action to reduce the environmental impact of companies and cities.
Role of the President of CDP North America
The President has fiduciary responsibility for the independent, non-profit entity that is CDP North America. Direct reports to the President include a Chief Operating Officer; Head of Investor Engagement; Head of Corporations and Supply Chains; Head of Global Initiatives; and Head of Development.
Along with his/her director reports, the President leads, manages, and develops the North America team and office. S/he approves global thematic (climate, water security, and forests) strategies and stakeholder (investors, corporations, cities, states, and governments) plans for North America. The President is expected to work closely with other regional heads (Europe, Asia Pacific, and Latin America) and the Global Executive Leadership Team (ELT) on strategy, operations, resources, and fundraising opportunities. Most crucially, the President is the lead external representative for the organization.
LEADERSHIP OPPORTUNITIES AND CHALLENGES
The success of the next President of CDP North America will be determined by how well s/he meets the following opportunities and challenges:
Serve as a visible and powerful external voice of CDP
The President of CDP North America must serve as an active representative; relationship steward and builder for the organization; and thought leader in the effort to move capital markets towards an environmentally sustainable future. The next President will lead an organization that works with a diverse array of organizations, from national/international non-governmental organizations, private industries, powerful members of the investment community, to influential government officials across the globe. The President must ensure that CDP North America plays a critical role in helping to shape current debates amongst business and political leaders around climate change, water, and forest issues. The President must ensure that existing relationships are strengthened and new ones fostered. Moreover, s/he should continue to play a lead role in brokering new agreements between CDP North America and private industry and investors for the services the organization provides.
CDP North America operates within a competitive arena where there are many voices and entities that deal with issues related to the environment and sustainability. For funders, influencers, and the broader public it can often be difficult to understand where a given organization fits within the broader landscape. CDP in many ways pursues a mission and set of activities that distinguishes itself from other organizations. The President must leverage this to devise strategies that will more effectively communicate CDP North America’s mission in influential spaces so that it will be better known and understood.
Increase CDP North America’s revenue and resources
Over the last decade, CDP North America has done very well raising philanthropic support for its important work. The organization has grown at a strong pace and is now poised for even greater growth. The next President should expect to grow the organization’s income by a minimum of 50% in the next three years. Towards this end, the President should look to increase current support from foundations and even look to potential support from high net worth individuals. With more of the broader public becoming aware of the serious dangers posed by climate change, water pollution, and deforestation, the President must find ways to marshal this awakening in the service of CDP’s mission.
Expand the North American Board
The current board of CDP North America is a small (five members) but deeply committed and insightful group that has helped advise successive Presidents and contributed tremendously to the organizations growth and standing. The next President should find ways to expand this group with individuals that would contribute in similarly positive ways. S/he will work with current board members to think broadly about potential individuals who could bring a unique set of skillsets and connections.
Work effectively and collaboratively with the larger CDP global organization
While CDP North America is its own separate non-profit entity, it is nonetheless embedded in a much larger global organization with tremendous organizational breadth and depth that it is able to draw from to advance its work. The next President must strike a balance between aligning North America’s strategies with the global CDP system, but also ensure that CDP North America is able to pursue opportunities in a fashion that is right for its geographical context. Doing so successfully will require building trust and good will with all the relevant stakeholders across the CDP family.
Effectively manage North American team and operations
In the last four years, the staff in the North America office has doubled, and the professional development and organizational systems and processes are stronger than ever. The next President will have the privilege of working with a highly experienced and capable staff that are very effective in their roles. The task for the President will be in effectively delegating to and leveraging the personnel in North America in the service of CDP’s mission. The President must set the right example of professionalism and commitment to mission that will inspire the team to do their very best.
PROCESS FOR APPLICATIONS, NOMINATIONS & INQUIRIES
You can find more information and apply on our agencies web page. Interested applicants are required to send a cover letter and resume via their website. Inquiries and nominations must also be submitted to the same web address with correspondences addressed to the search firm representatives noted below. Application reviews will begin immediately and continue until the completion of the search.
Andrew Lee & Kahn Lee
1300 19th Street NW, Suite 700
Washington, DC 20036
CDP North America is an Equal Opportunity Employer. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religious creed, national origin, sex, age, gender identity, disability, sexual orientation, military service, genetic information, and/or other status protected under law.