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Vanessa Fajans-Turner

Climate & Innovative Finance Advisor

Vanessa is the Managing Director for SDG Financing for the UN Sustainable Development Solutions Network. She is also an advisor to the Avatar Alliance Foundation, a climate and energy grant-making organization established by filmmaker James Cameron. She previously served for seven years on the Foundation’s leadership team, during which period she worked in additional related roles, including on production for both seasons of National Geographic’s Emmy Award-winning documentary series, Years of Living Dangerously, and its feature film DEEPSEA CHALLENGE 3D about a historic expedition to explore the ocean’s deepest-known point. Concurrent with this work, Vanessa consulted to CAMERON | PACE Group as it launched its Chinese joint venture, spending multiple months in China to advise on company operations, strategy, and partnerships. Prior to joining the Foundation, she worked on research and policy for the UN Development Program in both New York and Nigeria. She chairs the Citizen Engagement Lab board and co-chairs The Resolution Project advisory board, is a Term Member of the Council on Foreign Relations and a member of the Explorers Club. Proficient in five languages, she holds an MA in International Development and Economics from Johns Hopkins-SAIS and a BA in Social Studies from Harvard, from which she graduated with high honors.