James Gifford, the founding executive director of the Principles for Responsible Investment (PRI), will leave the organisation at the end of November.
Gifford has been PRI’s executive director since its launch in 2006. Between 2003 and 2006, he worked for UNEP Finance Initiative, in collaboration with the UN Global Compact, as lead project manager for the PRI Initiative, leading the process to develop and draft the principles.
“It has been a privilege to serve as the PRI’s first executive director and I’m immensely proud of what we have achieved,” Gifford said. “In the decade I’ve been working on this initiative, responsible investment has grown dramatically and I believe the PRI has played an important role in that growth, and will continue to do so. It has been an amazing experience to see the initiative go from an idea to a global organisation with more than 1,200 signatories, trillions of dollars signed up and meaningful implementation of the principles within the industry. With the PRI now established as a global institution with a strong leadership team, it is well placed to go from strength to strength. It is now time for me to take on the next big challenge.”
The PRI Association Board and PRI Advisory Council will meet in Cape Town, South Africa, in late September to discuss the succession plan for the role.
“We are sad to see James leave and I would like to thank him for his inspired leadership of the PRI Initiative,” said Glen Saunders, chair of the PRI Association Board. “He has been a visionary for the organisation and the responsible investment industry. He is leaving the PRI on a solid footing. We have a clear strategy, strong support in the industry, an experienced team, and a lot of momentum for delivering the PRI’s Mission.”
Gifford was also praised by Georg Kell, executive director of the UN Global Compact.
“James is a true norm entrepreneur, envisioning a[n] idea for taking responsible investment forward, and within one decade building a globally recognized organisation to advance the idea,” Kell said. “This is a huge accomplishment. We are proud to have supported him from the beginning.”