BlackRock sustainability policy and engagement leader to depart

Paul Bodnar, who had advised former President Obama on climate, joined BlackRock in 2021

BlackRock is losing its head of sustainability policy and engagement, Paul Bodnar, who is leaving the asset manager in April for a role at the Bezos Earth Fund.

Bodnar, who announced his departure on LinkedIn, will have been at BlackRock for two years. In October, Bodnar switched roles from global head of sustainable investing to his most recent job as head of sustainability policy and engagement.

In his post, he acknowledged the difficult position the company has been in amid an anti-ESG push in many parts of the country.

“BlackRock has changed the way the financial sector thinks about sustainability. It was one of the first to recognize the potential for climate risk to reshape finance, and to help investors navigate and participate in that transformation,” Bodnar wrote. “It has also been steadfast about the difficult realities of the transition and the need to retain a laser focus on fiduciary duty, even amidst intense public debates about whether asset managers are doing too little, or too much, to address climate change.”

At the Bezos Earth Fund, Bodnar will “help lead its work on climate finance, industry and diplomacy,” he wrote.

Prior to joining BlackRock in April 2021, he was chief strategy officer at renewable energy nonprofit RMI. Before that, he was special assistant to former President Barack Obama and senior director for energy and climate change at the National Security Council.

BlackRock declined to comment on Bodnar’s departure. The Bezos Earth Fund did not respond to a request for comment.

Editor’s note: This story has been updated to reflect Bodnar’s most recent position at BlackRock.