Harvard Business School (HBS) has named Lynn Schenk as the new director of its Business & Environment Initiative (BEI), succeeding Jennifer Nash, who will retire at the end of March after 5 years as director.

Lynn steps into this role at a decidedly important time for the Initiative, the School, and the world as we confront the realities of climate change and its associated responsibilities and opportunities for the business community.

BEI faculty chair Mike Toffel looks forward to his continued partnership with Lynn, with whom he has worked for the past year and a half in her role as BEI’s associate director: “Lynn’s experience and expertise, passion and commitment, and problem-solving orientation, make her uniquely poised to lead BEI at this critical juncture.”

Jennifer is pleased to pass the torch to Lynn: “Lynn will take great strides toward achieving BEI’s mission to educate, connect, and mobilize current and future business leaders to address climate change and other environmental challenges.”

In her career spanning more than 20 years, Lynn has held a number of leading-edge climate-focused and entrepreneurial roles with organizations including the Clinton Climate Initiative in which she leveraged her structured finance background and expertise from her tenure at Citigroup to focus on issues ranging from the financial structuring of renewable energy and infrastructure assets to climate-related financial advisory services for cities around the world.

Many members of the HBS community are already familiar with Lynn and her capacity for leadership at the intersection of business and social and environmental issues. Lynn initially joined HBS in 2017 to write case studies for a new course in impact investing and has contributed in a number of ways in support of social impact-focused work at HBS. Over the past year and half as BEI’s associate director, Lynn helped to design and deliver a significant on-campus convening (one of the last pre-Covid on-campus convenings), bringing together more than 250 alumni to explore and engage around the topic of Risks, Opportunities, and Investment in the Era of Climate Change. Under her leadership, the outputs from this convening included content summaries in written, video, and podcast formats; and follow on virtual programming for alumni on related topics. She helped to create a short intensive program (SIP) on Climate Finance that was offered to MBAs in January 2021, and has worked to bring in more opportunities to students interested in careers related to climate change. Lynn will continue to leverage and broaden the close relationships she has developed with faculty, alumni, and key administrative partners in Career and Professional Development, Alumni Relations, Operations, Admissions, other Initiatives staff, student club leaders and more to design and deliver programming in support of students and alumni.

In her new role as BEI director, Lynn is responsible for working with the Initiative’s faculty chair, Professor Mike Toffel, to refine and implement a strategy designed to leverage BEI’s intellectual capital, its network, and its executional capabilities. She will also be responsible for overseeing BEI’s overall strategy and operations, managing a portfolio of program activities that support faculty research and teaching, educational programs within the MBA and Executive Education curriculum, MBA career support programs, and alumni outreach and engagement.

Lynn is both honored and excited to step up her responsibilities in her new role at HBS: “I am driven by the incredible HBS community and its collective energy to continuously improve and I am thrilled to build on the unique platform the School provides to engage leaders who can and will move the needle on problems like climate change.”