Manish Bapna

President & Chief Executive Officer, NRDC

Manish Bapna joined NRDC as president and CEO in August 2021, taking the reins of this environmental organization of more than 700 attorneys, scientists, advocates, and policy experts. 

During his 25-year career, Bapna’s leadership roles have focused on designing sustainable development strategies that are equitable, durable, and scalable. Most recently, he served as executive vice president and managing director of the World Resources Institute (WRI) for more than 14 years. During Bapna’s tenure, WRI greatly increased its impact and reach, with staff and budget expanding six-fold. A strong believer in global collaboration, Bapna played the lead role in establishing WRI offices in China, India, and Brazil and was a key architect of several influential, multi-stakeholder initiatives, such as the NDCP Partnership, New Climate Economy, Global Commission on Adaptation, and the International Research Forum on the Sustainable Development Goals. He also helped launch WRI’s programs on cities, energy, finance, and adaptation. 

An economist by training, Bapna became the Executive Director of the Bank Information Center (BIC) in 2003, a nonprofit that works to promote the integration of social and environmental standards at the World Bank and other financial institutions. He was inspired to join the BIC after serving as a senior economist at the World Bank for seven years, where he focused on global poverty issues, leading teams in designing and implementing water, watershed, and rural development projects in Asia and Latin America. Several of these projects received "excellence awards" and were highly rated in independent evaluations. Prior to joining the World Bank in 1996, Bapna was a strategy consultant for McKinsey & Company in the financial services and technology industries. 

With his expertise in international sustainability issues, Bapna is invited to serve as a special advisor with the China Council for International Cooperation on Environment and Development. 

Bapna holds master’s degrees in business and political and economic development from Harvard University and a bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering from MIT.