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Steven Berkenfeld

Steven Berkenfeld recently retired from a career in Investment Banking to focus entirely on impact and sustainability.  Steven is principal and founder of Ecotopia Consulting LLC. and is primarily engaged in helping early stage, mission driven companies in the development of their business plan and growth strategy with the aim of improving their financeability, enhancing their market adoption and maximizing their environmental and social impact.  In addition, Steven serves as Chief Strategy Officer of Brightcore Energy and as a principal in Hydrogen Technology Ventures.  Steven currently sits on the Board of Directors of Svante Inc. and Preserve and is serving as an advisory board member or consultant to a number of other impact-focused companies.

Prior to his retirement, Steven was a Managing Director in Investment Banking at Barclays.  Steven’s roles included serving as senior sponsor of the Environmental and Social Impact Banking Initiative, co-heading the Firm’s Cleantech Initiative, and leading the banking effort for Emerging Industrial Technology companies.  Steven also managed the Transaction Review Committee process and chaired the Reputational Risk Committee for Barclays International, and served as chair of the firm’s Equities Commitment Committee and Fairness Opinion Committee.

Prior to joining Barclays in September 2008, Steven had spent over 21 years at Lehman Brothers.  At the time of the acquisition by Barclays, Steven’s roles at Lehman Brothers included serving as (i) Chair of all of the Transaction Approval Committees for Investment Banking, (ii) Global Head of Legal, Compliance and Audit, and (iii) Chief Investment Officer for all principal investing activities and Chair of the Investment Committee.  Since 2001 Steven served as Chief Investment Officer of Lehman Brothers’ Private Equity Division, with responsibilities including serving as Chair of the firm’s Investment Committee, reviewing and approving all potential principal investment opportunities for Lehman Brothers’ Private Equity Funds and assisting in the execution of transactions for each of the Private Equity asset classes.  Earlier in Steven’s career at Lehman Brothers, he had responsibility for all legal matters relating to Lehman Brothers’ Investment Banking and Private Equity activities, as well as many of its Fixed Income and Equities businesses.

Prior to joining Lehman Brothers in 1987, Steven was an associate at the law firm of Fried, Frank, Harris, Shriver & Jacobson engaged primarily in advising on mergers & acquisitions and leveraged buyouts.  Steven holds a J.D. degree from Columbia Law School and a B.S. degree from Cornell University.

Steven is former chair and member of the Board of Directors of the Sierra Club Foundation.  Steven is also chair of the Board of Directors of Green City Force, a member of the Board of Directors of Bend the Arc, a member of the Board of Directors of New Energy Nexus NY, a former member of the Board of Directors of BSR (Business for Social Responsibility), and a member of the President’s Council of Ceres and Woods Hole Research Center.  In addition, Steven is the sponsor of the Employment Sustainability Initiative on Employment and Technology at the ILR School of Cornell University, and has been engaged in various projects relating to the “Future of Work.”  Steven also is the sponsor of the Carbon Removal / New Carbon Economy initiative of the Atkinson Center for a Sustainable Future at Cornell University.

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