Donnel Baird and Hugh R. Frater Join Board as CGC Seeks to Establish National Green Bank
Washington, DC— The Coalition for Green Capital (CGC) announced today that it has elected Donnel Baird and Hugh R. Frater to the organization’s board of directors. Mr. Baird is the founder and CEO of BlocPower, a Brooklyn-based climate technology company that helps finance and manage the delivery of clean energy projects for underserved communities. Mr. Frater is an expert in housing access and affordability, has decades of experience in financial services, and previously served as the CEO of Fannie Mae.
“We are excited to welcome Donnel Baird and Hugh Frater to the CGC board of directors,” said Reed Hundt, CGC CEO and chairman of the Board. “As we focus on launching the national green bank in the coming months, they will help us achieve our goals of reducing greenhouse gas emissions and directing significant investments to underserved communities. I am glad to have their support and guidance as we take on the dual mission of simultaneously averting catastrophic climate change and redressing environmental injustice.”
“As someone who has devoted his career to bringing clean and affordable energy to low-income communities, I’m thrilled to join the Coalition for Green Capital’s board as the organization works to launch a national green bank,” said Mr. Baird. “Our country faces the significant task of transitioning our power infrastructure and I believe the national green bank will be essential for reducing emissions and delivering equitable investments.”
“Green banks around the country have already generated historic investments in clean energy and they have proven to be an effective tool for catalyzing public and private investments,” said Mr. Frater. “I look forward to the work ahead with the Coalition for Green Capital as we build upon the successes of the green bank model and launch the national green bank.”
The announcement comes as CGC works to establish a national green bank in 2023 that will focus primarily on reducing emissions and providing benefits to low-income and disadvantaged communities. The green bank model allows for unique financing and lending tools that will quickly expand access to affordable clean energy, especially for marginalized communities.
CGC has been advocating for such a national green bank for the last 13 years and works with a network of 23 state and local green banks across 17 states. This network of green banks has already catalyzed nearly $9 billion in green projects and has identified a collective backlog of $21 billion in future projects to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. With a commitment to direct at least $8 billion to low-income and disadvantaged communities, the green bank model allows for unique financing and lending tools that will quickly expand access to affordable clean energy.
Background on Donnel Baird
Donnel Baird is the founder of BlocPower, a startup that markets, finances and installs solar and energy efficiency technology to help houses of worship, non-profits, small businesses and multifamily projects to slash their energy costs. Mr. Baird spent three years as a community organizer in Brooklyn and one year as a voter contact director for Obama For America. He managed a national Change to Win/LIUNA campaign to leverage Dept. of Energy energy efficiency financing to create green construction jobs for out-of-work populations. He partnered with the Washington Interfaith Network to generate a $100m government investment in underserved communities in the District of Columbia. Mr. Baird has a B.A. from Duke University and an M.B.A.xdr from Columbia Business School.
Background on Hugh Frater
Until May 2022, Hugh R. Frater was Fannie Mae’s CEO. He set the overall enterprise vision and strategic direction of the company, guided the company through the pandemic, and was a champion of initiatives to make access to housing more equitable.
Mr. Frater served as interim CEO from October 2018 through March 2019 and served on Fannie Mae’s board since 2016.
- He currently serves as advisory board chairman of Vessel Technologies, an innovative manufacturer of efficient affordable housing. Prior to leading Fannie Mae, Mr. Frater was CEO of Berkadia Commercial Mortgage LLC, a national commercial real estate company providing comprehensive capital solutions, investment sales advisory, and research services for multifamily and commercial properties. Prior to Berkadia, Mr. Frater served as COO, Managing Director and Senior Advisor at Good Energies, Inc., a venture capital firm focused on clean energy. Mr. Frater spent the bulk of his career as a founding partner and managing director of BlackRock, Inc., the world’s largest asset management firm.
Mr. Frater has an AB in English from Dartmouth College, and an MBA in Finance from the Columbia University Graduate School of Business, where he serves on the Board of Overseers.