Heidi DuBois Appointed EVP, Head of ESG U.S.
Follows Recent Appointment of Chuka Umunna as Head of ESG for EMEA
NEW YORK, NY – August 27, 2020 – Edelman today announced the appointment of Heidi DuBois as Executive Vice President, Head of ESG U.S. In this newly created role, Heidi will lead the development of Edelman’s ESG advisory practice with a focus on helping companies build and communicate ESG strategies to their investors and helping investment firms build and communicate their own ESG programs. This announcement follows Edelman’s recent appointment of Chuka Umunna as Executive Director, Head of ESG for EMEA, based in London.
Heidi and Chuka bring significant experience advising Boards of Directors and leadership teams on ESG strategy, engagement and communications. They will provide specialized counsel on Board oversight of ESG programs, evolving ESG disclosure practices, and communicating with investors about ESG. Heidi and Chuka will complement Edelman’s long-standing Purpose offering for public and private companies.
Investors around the world are rapidly adopting ESG considerations as part of their investment decision-making. Assets of sustainable mutual funds and ETFs surpassed 10% of U.S. fund industry assets for the first time as of June 30, 2020. According to Morningstar data, sustainable investment funds in the U.S. surpassed $1 trillion in the second quarter of 2020. Companies are facing a rapidly growing list of ESG reporting requirements, and an increasing number of investors state they will closely monitor company ESG and sustainability progress.
“Every CEO and Board in the U.S. is thinking about their ESG strategy and disclosure,” said Lex Suvanto, Global Managing Director of Financial Communications at Edelman. “Heidi and Chuka will advance Edelman’s leadership in ESG advisory and communications support for our clients. Heidi and Chuka bring decades of ESG and sustainability experience, technical knowledge and a passion for helping Boards and leadership teams develop ESG strategies that reinforce business objectives and drive long-term financial performance.”
“Edelman will now be a leader in both ESG advisory as well as helping companies define, develop and deploy their purpose, and this will be a powerful combination for clients. Heidi and Chuka’s expertise in serving Boards and their unique understanding of investors will be a clear differentiator for Edelman in this arena, and I look forward to working with them to further drive substantive change and long-lasting shared value,” said Alex Heath, Executive Vice President, Purpose.
“I am honored to join Edelman and help lead our ESG advisory practice,” said DuBois. “The need to integrate business-relevant environmental, social and governance factors into corporate decision making at every level is more urgent than ever. I look forward to working with Chuka, Alex and the entire Edelman team to develop comprehensive, global solutions for our clients that will deliver lasting benefits to all stakeholders and to society as a whole.”
Prior to joining Edelman, Heidi was ESG Director for the Society for Corporate Governance, where she worked with general counsels, board members and sustainability leaders to provide education around best-in-class ESG programs. Previously, she oversaw the corporate social responsibility and philanthropic functions for BNY Mellon, and before that held a similar role at PepsiCo. She has published numerous ESG articles and reports on topics including the opportunities inherent in gender-lens investing. She also helped establish the Berkeley Sustainable Business and Investment Forum. Heidi began her career as an attorney at Debevoise & Plimpton, where she worked on executive compensation matters, CEO transitions, M&A transactions and other corporate crises.
From 2010-2019, Chuka served in U.K. Parliament including as Shadow Business Secretary and in other senior posts leading on economic, business, trade and foreign policy issues on the Opposition benches. During this time, he co-founded Small Business Saturday in the U.K., led the successful campaign against the hostile takeover of AstraZeneca by Pfizer and became a leading advocate of the stakeholder capitalism agenda, campaigning for more diversity in the boardroom. Before entering politics, Chuka worked for several years at a city law firm advising companies on contentious, transactional (M&A) and advisory matters including employment litigation, industrial relations, remuneration and incentives, and workplace health and safety.
Edelman is a global communications firm that partners with businesses and organizations to evolve, promote and protect their brands and reputations. Our 6,000 people in more than 60 offices deliver communications strategies that give our clients the confidence to lead and act with certainty, earning the trust of their stakeholders. Our honors include the Cannes Lions Grand Prix for PR; Advertising Age’s 2019 A-List; the Holmes Report’s 2018 Global Digital Agency of the Year; and, five times, Glassdoor’s Best Places to Work. Since our founding in 1952, we have remained an independent, family-run business. Edelman owns specialty companies Edelman Intelligence (research) and United Entertainment Group (entertainment, sports, lifestyle).