Who We Are

We are led by a global team of policymakers, scientists, program managers and others concerned about the fate of our planet.

Nicholas Bianco, Program Director

Before joining Sequoia Climate Fund as program director of the U.S. portfolio, Nicholas was the deputy director for the World Resources Institute’s U.S. country office. In that role, he helped coordinate work in the U.S. across climate, energy, food, forests, water and the sustainable cities programs while helping to oversee the U.S. climate team.

From 2014-2017, Nicholas was the director of regulatory analysis and strategic partnerships at the Environmental Defense Fund, where he oversaw the analytical research conducted in support of the domestic climate and air regulatory team. Prior to that, Nicholas held a variety of roles at the World Resources Institute, including overseeing both WRI’s work on state, regional and federal agency efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and DC operations for the New Climate Economy, a project of the Global Commission on the Economy and Climate. During this time, he was the lead author of a series of reports that, for the first time, outlined how executive authorities could be used to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, the latter of which (“Can the U.S. Get There From Here”) was recognized by the University of Pennsylvania as one of the 10 best reports produced by a think tank internationally during the 2012-2013 timeframe.

Gauri Gadgil, Program Associate

Gauri Gadgil supports Sequoia Climate Fund’s grantmaking to decarbonize the global economy and build broad support for the climate change movement. Before this role, Gauri was at the Chesapeake Bay Foundation and at the World Bank, working with local and municipal governments to develop and finance green, climate-resilient infrastructure.

Prior to her graduate studies, Gauri worked on economic development programs for displaced and refugee populations through UNOPS in Myanmar and the International Rescue Committee in San Diego. Her various experiences have contributed to a people-centered focus that she brings to her work on climate change. Gauri holds an M.A. in energy, resources and environment from Johns Hopkins University and a B.A. in international relations & French from Wellesley College.

Louise Glew, Director of Evidence and Learning

Louise is an expert in strategy development and quantitative causal inference in complex systems. She leads Sequoia Climate Fund’s evidence and learning portfolio, which informs grant-making through quantitative analyses on the impacts of specific interventions. Prior to joining Sequoia Climate Fund, Louise was the global lead scientist for conservation evidence at the World Wildlife Fund, where she led an interdisciplinary team focused on the generation, synthesis and use of evidence in decision-making. She convened the Alliance for Conservation Evidence and Sustainability (a cross-sector collaboration focused on the use of evidence in decision-making) and was the founding chair of the impact evaluation working group of the Society for Conservation Biology. Louise holds a doctorate in environmental science from the University of Southampton and has published research on the impacts of biodiversity conservation interventions in leading scientific journals, including Nature and Science.

Sze Ping Lo, Program Director

Sze Ping is a veteran environmentalist from China. With over 20 years of diverse experience in directing mainstream and local grassroots NGOs, he has operated at both the top of the global pyramid and with boots-on-the-ground fieldwork.

Prior to joining Sequoia Climate Fund as the program director managing the China and Southeast Asia portfolios, Sze Ping was CEO of WWF China and has taken top leadership and governance roles in Greenpeace, Friends of Nature, Society of Entrepreneurs and Ecology (SEE), China Youth Climate Action Network (CYCAN) and Global Call for Climate Action (GCCA). He also founded two NGOs: Forward Works and Greenovation Hub. He has also served in advisory roles for L’Oréal, 350.org, UNEP, Sustainable Development Council of the Hong Kong Government and the World Economic Forum.

His contributions in the field have been widely recognized, including being awarded as a young global leader by the World Economic Forum in 2012, a green leader by leading Chinese media outlet Southern Weekend in 2011 and one of “Ten Outstanding Young Persons of Hong Kong” in 2010. He is a political scientist and anthropologist by training, and holds an EMBA from Hong Kong University of Science and Technology.

Hannah McKinnon, Program Director

Hannah McKinnon leads Sequoia Climate Fund’s work on oil and gas and the European portfolio. Prior to joining the Sequoia Climate Fund team, Hannah established and was the director of the energy transitions and futures program at Oil Change International, where she also played a central role in founding the Global Gas and Oil Network. She has been a driver in global campaign efforts to address oil and gas production through a just transition and a managed decline.

Hannah has worked on climate change and energy issues for over 15 years, with experience ranging from national and international climate policy to politics and advocacy in North America and Europe to climate adaptation and risk management in Central America. She has an M.Sc. from the London School of Economics and Political Science and an honors degree in biochemistry from Mount Allison University. She also studied at Lester B. Pearson United World College.

Daniel Noll, Program Manager

At Sequoia Climate Fund, Daniel Noll supports grantmaking to transform power and energy end use systems throughout major economies. Previously, Daniel was the director for international programs at the Edison Electric Institute. In this role, he led market research and member services for electric utility clients. From 2014 to 2017, Daniel was a senior fellow in the U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of International Climate and Clean Energy, where he worked on bilateral and multilateral programs to accelerate global power sector reform, transportation electrification and low-carbon energy systems deployment. He has also worked previously for the U.S. Department of State, U.S. Department of Commerce, the University of Texas at Austin – Energy Institute, the University of Texas System, Austin Energy and South by Southwest LLC.

Daniel has a master’s degree in energy and earth resources, a master’s degree in global policy studies and a bachelor’s degree in government from the University of Texas at Austin.

Seema Paul, Program Director

Seema Paul’s life mission is to connect the world’s largest democracies to the planetary environmental agenda with a particular focus on climate change. She prefers to apply this mission specifically in the context of start-ups. Seema joins the Sequoia Climate Fund as the program director overseeing the India and global lands program. In addition to successfully leading the launch of two environmental organizations in India — Shakti Sustainable Energy Foundation and, most recently, The Nature Conservancy — she has also worked at two philanthropic start-ups focused on climate change, notably Ted Turner’s United Nations Foundation and Climateworks Foundation. Seema has also worked with international organizations such as UNAIDS.

Seema completed her international executive program at INSEAD and has two master’s degrees — one in public policy from the University of Maryland and the other in English literature from the University of Delhi. Additionally, she is Rockefeller Foundation’s Lead international fellow and an Alfred Friendly press fellow. Seema has also published widely in global and Indian media including Time, Dallas Morning News and The Times of India, as well as in peer-reviewed and other professional journals.

Christie Ulman, President

Prior to joining the Sequoia Climate Fund, Christie served as the climate director at the Children’s Investment Fund Foundation (CIFF) in London. She joined CIFF after her tenure with the U.S. government, which included serving as the director of the Office of Climate and Clean Energy at the U.S. Department of Energy. Christie also worked at the White House Council on Environmental Quality as deputy associate director and at the U.S. Treasury in the Office of Environment and Energy, where she was on detail from her permanent post at the U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of Policy and International Affairs. 

Before earning her graduate degree, Christie lived in Spain and Thailand, where she worked in public health and education, assisting with disaster relief from the 2004 Indian Ocean earthquake and tsunami. Christie holds a Master of International Affairs from Columbia University and a BSc from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, where she graduated with honors.