PRI names ex-CDP vice president and TIAA-CREF analyst Mahida to head US network

Initiative fills key US vacancy

The Principles for Responsible Investment (PRI) has named Sonal Mahida as its new US Network Manager, taking a role left vacant when Diane Bratcher left the organisation just under a year ago.

Mahida will be based in New York and is a former vice president at not-for-profit environmental data organisation the CDP [Carbon Disclosure Project], where she headed its US operations, and a Senior Corporate Governance Analyst at financial services giant TIAACREF.

She was most recently part of the Environmental, Health and Safety team at Hess Corporation, the US-listed US oil and gas company. She was at Hess from July 2012-September 2013, according to her LinkedIn entry.

Before joining Hess, Mahida ran her own responsible investment consulting called Verability; earlier in her career she interned at SRI firm Trillium Asset Management.At the PRI she will be responsible for engaging with and supporting US signatories in the practice and implementation of their environmental, social and governance (ESG) risk management. She will take a lead role in the growth of the PRI’s US network.

PRI Managing Director Fiona Reynolds told RI in an interview last year that it was “critical” for the organisation to gain more exposure in the US.

“Ms. Mahida has worked across ESG risk from institutional investor, non-profit, and corporate issuer perspectives,” said Reynolds of the new appointment. “Her experience includes shareholder engagement, developing proxy voting guidelines, proxy voting analysis and ESG integration.”

The move comes as the PRI is scoping out a review of its own governance arrangements in a response to concerns that eventually led to the exit of eight Danish pension funds from the membership organisation last year.