UW Foster School of Business welcomes sustainable finance expert to faculty

Charlie Donovan looking into the camera and smiling

The University of Washington’s Foster School of Business announced today the appointment of Charlie Donovan, a UW alumnus and internationally recognized expert in sustainable finance, to lead the school’s activities on climate change.

Donovan is currently Executive Director of the Centre for Climate Finance and Investment at Imperial College London and the Academic Director of its business school’s Master of Science in Climate Change, Management and Finance. He will take up his role as Visiting Professor at Foster full-time as of September 1, 2021.

“As we recognize the critical impact climate change has on businesses, more and more companies are tackling risks by being innovative and exploring exciting opportunities,” said Frank Hodge, the Orin and Janet Smith Dean of the Foster School of Business. “We are thrilled to have Charlie on board to deepen our engagement with the iconic Northwest businesses that are taking action now.”

Donovan began his career as a Policy Analyst at the US Environmental Protection Agency during the Clinton Administration and subsequently spent more than a decade as a finance executive in the energy industry. Before joining Imperial College London, he was the co-founder and chief financial officer of Cleandrone, a cleantech start-up based in Europe.

Charlie Donovan leading a lecture in front of a city skyline

“The battle against climate change can’t be won with a mindset of pollution reduction,” said Donovan. “We’re on the cusp of a great industrial transformation. Government policies combined with huge advances in technology provide opportunities for businesses to benefit from a post-carbon economy. The Pacific Northwest is primed to lead the way.”

Working together with UW leaders like Earthlab, the Clean Energy Institute and the Buerk Center for Entrepreneurship, the Foster climate initiative will engage with students, faculty, and the corporate community to help conserve nature and better humanity.