Maria Blair joined the Rockefeller Foundation in 2005 as associate vice president and manager director, providing leadership and strategic direction for all Foundation initiatives, and leading major initiatives in climate change and innovation. Ms. Blair leads the Building Climate Change Resilience initiative, a multi-year, $70 million project to catalyze attention, funding and action in building climate change resilience for poor and vulnerable people globally. The initiative focuses on testing and experimenting with local action to prevent, reduce and alleviate the impacts of climate change on sub-Saharan African agriculture and mid-sized cities in Asia. The initiative also works on building networks for replication and dissemination of resilience practices, and increasing pressure on international and U.S. funders, practitioners and policy-makers to support increased resilience funding and action.
Prior to joining the Rockefeller Foundation, Ms. Blair was an associate principal with McKinsey & Company, where she focused on private sector development, microfinance, corporate social responsibility and strategy development for nonprofits. She also worked with leading global financial services companies on strategy, new business development and performance management. Ms. Blair, who earned her undergraduate degree from Harvard, was a Rhodes Scholar at Oxford University’s Balliol College where she received a master’s degree in politics, economics and philosophy.