Advancing sustainable growth in the United States and China

Paulson Institute welcomes Kate Gordon as Vice Chair, Climate and Sustainable Urbanization


Chicago, IL—The Paulson Institute today announced that Kate Gordon has joined the Institute’s leadership team as Vice Chair, Climate and Sustainable Urbanization. In this newly developed role, Gordon will be responsible for day-to-day operations and strategic planning for the Institute’s combined climate change and sustainable urbanization programs.

Announcing Gordon’s appointment, Paulson Institute Executive Director Cynthia Zeltwanger said, “Kate brings tremendous experience as a leading expert on the intersection of energy, climate and economic growth. She knows how to work with diverse interest groups to build consensus and how to drive research-based messages to help shape policy. The Paulson Institute is fortunate to have her on our team, as we work to reduce carbon emissions and promote sustainable development in the United States and China.”

“I am pleased to welcome Kate to the Paulson Institute. As executive director of the Risky Business Project, she has been an extremely effective leader, helping to drive an important conversation about climate change, which I believe is the greatest risk our planet faces,” said Institute Chairman Hank Paulson. “With Kate’s sophisticated understanding of political process and pragmatic approach to promoting change, we hope to build even stronger foundations for this important work both here in the United States and in China.”

Gordon said, “I’m delighted to have this opportunity to work on the issues I care most about: economic development and climate change. I’m especially excited about broadening my knowledge on China, which is perhaps the most critical area of the world when it comes to sustainable economic growth. I believe the Paulson Institute is in a key strategic position to drive substantive, positive change.”

Under Gordon’s direction, the Institute’s Climate Change and Air Quality and Sustainable Urbanization programs and staff will be merged. Gordon will be responsible for setting and executing the strategy and operations for the integrated program. Elle Carberry will continue as Managing Director of the Institute’s Climate Change and Air Quality work. Leigh Wedell, Chief Sustainability Officer, will be the day-to-day lead on the Institute’s Sustainable Urbanization work.

Deborah Lehr, who was a Vice Chairman of the Paulson Institute and has played a key role in building the Paulson Institute from its inception, is returning to the private sector. She will remain as a senior strategic advisor and Senior Fellow at the Institute.

“Deborah is a great strategic, creative thinker, and she has made countless contributions to the building of the Paulson Institution over the last four years,” said Paulson. “I wish her great success in her new venture, and am delighted that she will be continuing to advise the Paulson Institute as we move forward.”

Gordon brings with her tremendous expertise in issues related to energy and economics, and also strategies around communications and awareness-building. She led the Energy & Climate team at Next Generation, developing policies and communications strategies to combat climate change and move the U.S. to a clean energy economy. She also served as Executive Director to the Risky Business Project, which Paulson Institute Chairman Hank Paulson co-chairs. Prior to joining Next Generation, Gordon was vice president for energy and environment at the Center for American Progress (CAP), where she still serves as a senior fellow.

The Paulson Institute is an independent “think and do” tank that conducts environmental and sustainable development projects and research on economics and the environment in the United States and China. Established in 2011 by Henry M. Paulson, Jr., the 74th US Secretary of the Treasury and former chairman and CEO of Goldman Sachs, the Institute aims to advance sustainable growth and environmental protection in the United States and China.

The Institute works at the nexus of economic and environmental issues in the United States and China. Its programs in China focus on improving climate and air quality, advancing environmental conservation and promoting sustainable cities. The Institute’s Think Tank publishes papers on the most important macroeconomic issues facing China today, energy strategies and issues in US-China relations. In the United States, the Institute promotes bilateral cross-border investment that will improve US-China relations and help create jobs and works to reduce economic risk from climate change. The Institute has offices in Chicago (at the University of Chicago), Washington and Beijing.