Steven Berkenfeld

Steven Berkenfeld

Board Chair

Founder of Ecotopia Consulting, formerly Managing Director at Barclays


Steven Berkenfeld, founder and principal of Ecotopia Consulting, recently retired as a Managing Director in Investment Banking at Barclays where he served as senior sponsor of the Environmental and Social Impact Banking Initiative, was co head of the firm’s Cleantech Initiative and led the banking effort for Emerging Industrial Technology companies Former chair of the board of the Sierra Club Foundation, and sponsor and board member of several projects and organizations focused on social impact and sustainability

Prior to joining Barclays in September 2008, Steven had spent over 21 years at Lehman Brothers.  At the time of the acquisition by Barclays, his roles at Lehman Brothers included serving as (i) Chair of all of the Transaction Approval Committees for Investment Banking, (ii) the Global Head of Legal, Compliance and Audit and (iii) Chief Investment Officer for all principal investing activities and Chair of the Investment Committee. Since 2001 Steven served as Chief Investment Officer of Lehman Brothers’ Private Equity Division, with responsibilities including serving as Chair of the Firm’s Investment Committee, reviewing and approving all potential principal investment opportunities for Lehman Brothers’ Private Equity Funds and assisting in the execution of transactions for each of the Private Equity asset classes. Earlier in his career at Lehman Brothers, Steven had responsibility for all legal matters relating to Lehman Brothers’ Investment Banking and Private Equity activities, as well as many of its Fixed Income and Equities businesses.

Prior to joining Lehman Brothers in 1987, Steven was an associate at the law firm of Fried, Frank, Harris, Shriver & Jacobson engaged primarily in advising on mergers & acquisitions and leveraged buy-outs. He holds a J.D. from Columbia Law School and a B.S. from Cornell University.

Steven is former chair and member of the Board of Directors of the Sierra Club Foundation.  He also is co-chair of the Board of Directors of Green City Force, a member of the Board of Directors of Bend the Arc, a member of the Advisory Board of the Earth Institute of Columbia University and a former member of the Board of Directors of BSR (Business for Social Responsibility).  In addition, Steven is the sponsor of the Employment Sustainability Initiative on Employment and Technology at the ILR School of Cornell University, and is actively engaged in various projects relating to the “Future Of Work.” He also is the sponsor of the Carbon Removal / New Carbon Economy initiative of the Atkinson Center for a Sustainable Future at Cornell University.



GCF Board