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International

Richenda Van Leeuwen

Managing Director
  • Empowering Clean Economies
  • SEED (Africa)

Richenda is the Managing Director for Empowering Clean Economies at the Rocky Mountain Institute. She joined the Institute in May 2019 from the non-profit Global LPG Partnership where she had served as Chair, International Institutions since 2016, working with African governments and other partners on residential energy solutions in Sub-Saharan Africa. She has also served for the last three years as a member of the World Bank’s Energy Program’s (ESMAP) Technical Advisory Group (TAG), providing strategic oversight of their $135 million energy portfolio.

BACKGROUND

From 2010-2016 she founded and led Energy Access at the United Nations Foundation including its engagement with the UN Sustainable Energy for All Initiative. She established the “Energy Access Practitioner Network” which rapidly grew to over 2,300 members delivering a range of off-grid and mini-grid renewable energy solutions to address lack of electrification in many developing countries.

Richenda has more than 25 years of executive management experience and previously worked in private equity and as an impact investor on a range of emerging markets renewable energy solutions. She served as a founding board member of the Good Energies Foundation which supports a range of energy access solutions in East Africa, South Asia and, at that time, in Central America. She also served as CEO of international women’s micro-entrepreneurship NGO, Trickle Up, for nearly five years.

Richenda is currently a board director of SELCO India and Energy 4 Impact and since 2010 has served as a founding U.S. Women’s “Clean Energy Ambassador” within the U.S. Department of Energy’s Clean Energy, Education and Empowerment (C3E) initiative.

EDUCATION

BSc (Hons), University of Durham, St. Cuthbert’s Society, UK
MBA, Durham Business School

Authored Works