Today, the New York Climate Exchange, a first of its kind organization in New York City working on innovative climate solutions, announced Stephen Hammer as its founding chief executive officer. Hammer is a leading global climate policy expert who has served as the top climate advisor at the World Bank for the last decade.
As CEO of the New York Climate Exchange (“The Exchange”), Hammer will lead the organization as it develops and deploys dynamic solutions to the global climate crisis while acting as a hub for New Yorkers to benefit from the new green economy.
The Exchange will eventually occupy a $700 million state-of-the-art facility set to open in 2028 on Governors Island in New York Harbor. As partner organizations of The Exchange, the Simons Foundation and Simons Foundation International will together provide $100 million of the project’s cost.
“The Simons Foundation is thrilled to welcome Dr. Stephen Hammer as the founding CEO of the New York Climate Exchange,” says David Spergel, president of both the Simons Foundation and Simons Foundation International. “The work starts with understanding the climate science, modeling the risks and estimating its impacts on New York City, its infrastructure and its environment. New York can be a model for the world’s cities. Dr. Hammer is poised to lead a trailblazing organization that brings together a broad and diverse set of talents to address the greatest challenge of our times, climate change.”
As the World Bank’s senior policy advisor on urban-scale climate solutions, global climate policy and finance issues, Hammer spearheaded key climate partnerships with the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, the U.N. Secretary General’s team, and the G20 and supported efforts to mainstream climate change into all facets of the bank’s lending operations.
Hammer previously held faculty posts at MIT’s Department of Urban Studies and Planning, Columbia University’s School of International and Public Affairs, and the Pratt Institute, where he specialized in urban energy systems and policy, often focusing on New York City. He also co-founded and co-directed the Urban Climate Change Research Network, an international consortium of researchers interested in climate change from an urban perspective. He served on Mayor Bloomberg’s Energy Policy Task Force, advising on PlaNYC, the city’s long-term growth and sustainability initiative.
“Worldwide, too many sectors — the business community, nonprofits, government, academics and more — are working in silos,” Hammer says. “The Exchange is not just another institute; it’s part think tank, part do tank, serving as a training ground for the climate leaders of tomorrow and an incubator for technology and market entrepreneurs. It’s meant to innovate and have an impact, to defend science and to make New York City a living laboratory for international solutions. Climate change is going to reverberate across the world and every aspect of society, and working with our world-class partners, we’re going to bring people together to deliver real impact on this collective, existential challenge.”