Our People

David Wood, Ph.D, Director
David Wood directs the IRI’s research and field-building work on responsible investment across asset classes, and currently manages projects on RI strategy with pension fund trustees, mission investing by foundations, the changing landscape of community investing in the US, and impact investing and public policy. He holds a Ph.D. in History from The Johns Hopkins University. Contact him at 617.384.8322 or david_wood@hks.harvard.edu.

Steve Lydenberg, Founding Director
Steve Lydenberg is Partner, Strategic Vision of Domini Social Investments and Founding Director of the IRI. He has been active in social research since 1975. Steve was a founder of KLD Research & Analytics, Inc. and served as its research director from 1990 to 2001. From 1987 to 1989, he was an associate with Franklin Research and Development Corporation (now known as Trillium Asset Management). For 12 years he worked with the Council on Economic Priorities, ultimately as director of corporate accountability research.

Steve has written numerous publications on issues of corporate social responsibility and responsible investing. He is the author of Corporations and the Public Interest (Berrett-Koehler, 2005), coauthor of Investing for Good(Harper Collins, 1993), coeditor of The Social Investment Almanac(Henry Holt, 1992),  and coauthor of Rating America’s Corporate Conscience (Addison-Wesley, 1986) and has published a variety of papers on the philosophy and practice of sustainable investing. Recent publications include “From Transparency to Performance: Industry-Based Sustainability Reporting on Key Issues”, co-authored with David Wood and Jean Rogers of Arup, and a recently published book, Dilemmas in Socially Responsible Investment, co-authored with Celine Louche. Steve holds a B.A. in English from Columbia College and an M.F.A. in theater arts from Cornell University. He holds the Chartered Financial Analyst designation and is a member of the Boston Security Analysts Society.

Katie Grace, Program Manager
Katie Grace is Program Manager at the Initiative for Responsible Investment, where she conducts research on public policy and impact investment, sustainable cities investment, and place-based frameworks for community development.  Prior to the IRI, she worked as a research analyst at the Tellus Institute on corporate sustainability performance indicators and analysis of the effects of university endowments on employment and the community. Katie has a BA from Williams College in Political Science with a Concentration in Leadership Studies. Contact her at 617.495.1904 or katie_grace@hks.harvard.edu.

erin shackelford 2015Erin Shackelford, Program Manager, Trustee Leadership Forum
Erin will be working part-time on the TLF, focusing on expanding and deepening trustee relationships and developing issue-specific resources. Prior to joining the IRI team, Erin was a labor organizer, most recently working as the Director of Organizing for SEIU Local 509 based in Watertown, MA.  Erin has fifteen years of experience in the field of labor organizing
and labor relations and has worked for SEIU, AFSCME and the AFT.  She holds a Masters Degree in Labor and Industrial Relations from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Contact her at 617.495.3837 or erin_shackelford@hks.harvard.edu.

rooneyRooney Charest, Staff Associate
Rooney Charest provides general support for the IRI’s research projects, events and communications.  Prior to joining the IRI, she worked for three years promoting sustainable local food systems, acting as a school garden coordinator, farmer and teacher. She has a BA in Environmental Policy from Williams College, where her thesis research focused on policy approaches to farm viability in New England. Contact her at 617.496.2213 or rooney_charest@hks.harvard.edu.

Jay Youngdahl, Senior Fellow
Jay Youngdahl is a lawyer and writer who is active in the field of responsible investment.  He is a partner in the Houston based law firm, Youngdahl & Citti, P.C.  For over thirty years he has served as Fund Counsel to a number Taft-Hartley employee benefit funds, and is retained to provide expert legal opinions to public and private funds.  Since 2007 he has served as an independent Trustee of the Middletown Works Hourly and Salaried Union Health Care Fund (VEBA).  Jay has written a number of pieces on the issue of Responsible Investment and the role of Trustees in such efforts.  Presently, he is active with the IRI’s Trustee Leadership Forum for Retirement Security. Jay is a Fellow with the College of Labor and Employment Law and holds a B.S. from the University of Houston, a J.D. from the University of Texas at Austin, an M.A. from St. John’s College, and a M.Div. from Harvard University. Contact him at jay_youngdahl@hks.harvard.edu.

JG headshot suit HRJames Gifford, Ph.D, Senior Fellow
Dr. James Gifford was the founder and first Executive Director of the UN-supported Principles for Responsible Investment, leading the initiative from its inception in 2003 until November 2013. As Senior Research Fellow at the Initiative for Responsible Investment at the Harvard Kennedy School, he is researching and writing on sustainable private equity in developing countries and delivering positive impact within mainstream pension and foundation investment strategies. He is a Senior Strategic Advisor to Tau Investment Management. He is also a guest lecturer at Imperial College London, a visiting fellow at the University of St Andrews and has published numerous articles and book chapters on responsible investment. Dr. Gifford has a PhD from the University of Sydney on the effectiveness of shareholder engagement in improving corporate environmental, social and governance performance, degrees in Commerce and Law, and a Masters in Environment Management. He was named by the World Economic Forum in 2010 as one of 200 Young Global Leaders. Contact him at james_gifford@hks.harvard.edu.


Falko Paetzold, Fellow
Falko Paetzold submitted his PhD to University of Zurich on the topic of cognition and barriers that limit the engagement of wealthy private investors, family offices and investment advisors in sustainable investing. As Fellow at the Initiative for Responsible Investment, he works with Senior Fellow Dr. James Gifford on a training and research program to facilitate and drive the role of Next Generation (Next Gen) members of families in impact investing. Falko is an affiliate at the Sustainability & Technology Chair at ETH Zurich, and he is the founder and president of the GreenBuzz network of over 7,000 sustainability professionals, with chapters in Berlin, Dubai, Edinburgh, Manila, Stockholm and Zurich. He has worked in health policy and consulting and banking, and he has developed sustainable investment processes for private banks and asset managers. Falko holds a bachelor and a masters degree in business administration (BBA, MBA) following studies at the Swiss University of St. Gallen, Nanyang Technological University in Singapore and Wilfrid Laurier University in Canada. Contact him at falko_paetzold@hks.harvard.edu.