Maria Athena Ballesteros

About Maria Athena Ballesteros

Athena is currently the Director of the Asia Program at the Growald Family Fund. GFF is a high-impact venture philanthropy fund investing in the rapid transition to a clean energy future. GFF invests our grants in a portfolio of organizations poised to create an outsized impact on carbon emissions and climate change. Globally and in Asia, we work in partnership with like-minded foundations and nonprofit partners as well as academic and policy research institutions. The Asia program is focused on catalyzing climate innovation and leadership towards transformational initiatives critical to averting the effects of global climate change. Prior to joining the fund, Athena was Director of the Sustainable Finance Center at the World Resources Institute, a think tank based in Washington D.C. In this capacity, she led a program of work focused on data-driven and evidence-based research, policy dialogue and engagement with governments, investors, businesses and civil society organizations on shifting investments and financial flows towards sustainable development.

Athena has various leadership and management experience in environment, development and natural resource governance in developing countries with a particular focus on climate change, clean energy and sustainable finance. She worked actively on these issues in China, India, Philippines, Indonesia, Thailand and Japan. She is a long-time policy advisor to the Philippine government’s official climate change negotiating team at the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) and the Paris Agreement. She has published widely on the issue of climate change, the architecture of climate finance, clean energy and, governance.

She is currently completing an executive master’s degree at the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy, Tufts University. In addition, Athena holds post-graduate degrees in Development Planning from the University of the Philippines, in Development Management from the Asian Institute of Management, and a bachelor’s degree in Communications and Journalism from the University of the Philippines.


Financing solutions to climate action

27 Jun 2019

Asia faces many challenges due to the acceleration of climate change yet there remains a critical lack of finance from across the funding spectrum, from philanthropists to impact investors who are including this sector in their social investment portfolio. This…Read More

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  • Maurice Machenbaum

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  • Linda Jones

    Linda Jones

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