Yue (Nina) Chen, Director of Conservation Investments at the New York Division of the Nature Conservancy. Nina is responsible for leveraging the private sector and private capital to accelerate and scale up conservation impacts, and creating the public policy and program enabling conditions for the private sector to be effective for conservation. Her areas of focus include healthy cities, climate resilient infrastructure, and climate mitigation. She held a similar role at the Conservancy’s New Jersey Chapter where she ran the chapter’s wetland mitigation bank and helped kick start the City of Newark’s effort to consider a storm water fee to provide a stable and equitable source of funding for stormwater management. She also led the research on the feasibility of generating carbon credits from restoring coastal marshes.
Prior to her positions at the Conservancy, Nina had a career in finance, spanning a wide range of areas from sovereign bonds, interest rates derivatives, mortgages, and structured credit products at Goldman Sachs and Royal Bank of Canada among others. She is also on the Advisory Board of MIT Sloan Business School Sustainability Initiative.
Nina’s long-term interest in conservation dates back to her childhood living near the woods in a small town in southern China. She has a Ph.D. in Chemical Engineering from Massachusetts Institute of Technology and a B.S. in Chemical Engineering from Tsinghua University, Beijing, China. Her doctoral thesis used decision theory and uncertainty analysis to tackle the time and cost barriers in incorporating environmental impact assessments into corporate decision-making. Nina also has an Executive Education Certificate in Conservation and Environmental Sustainability from Columbia University.