Today, after an international search, Rocky Mountain Institute (RMI) is pleased to announce that its Board of Trustees has chosen Jules Kortenhorst to be the organization’s new chief executive officer. As the founding CEO of the European Climate Foundation, the largest philanthropic organization dedicated to policy development and advocacy on climate change in Europe, Kortenhorst brings significant experience and understanding of the global energy issues RMI works to solve.
Kortenhorst has held a number of leadership positions across both the energy and business sectors, most recently serving as CEO of Topell Energy, a Netherlands-based clean technology company. Kortenhorst received a master’s degree in business administration from Harvard University after earning two degrees in economics from Erasmus University in Rotterdam, The Netherlands. Between 2006 and 2008, he was a Member of the Dutch Parliament.
Kortenhorst began his career at McKinsey and Company, and then spent eight years at Royal Dutch Shell Group, including as country managing director. He later served as chief operating officer of ClientLogic, a global leader in CRM outsourced services. His hybrid background in business, government and nonprofit organizations complements Rocky Mountain Institute’s focus on implementing market-driven initiatives across all four sectors that use fossil fuels—transportation, buildings, industry and electricity.
"After an extensive search that included highly qualified candidates from around the world, Jules emerged as our clear choice," said Thomas Dinwoodie, Chair of RMI’s Board of Trustees. “His demonstrated ability to grow the influence and reach of an organization such as the European Climate Foundation is in line with the Board's objectives for scaling the impact of RMI. We are enthusiastic about what Jules’ leadership will bring to RMI and to the broader issue of accelerating our global energy transition."
As CEO, Kortenhorst will report to RMI’s Board and will be primarily responsible for further developing the organization’s strategic vision, the overall fiscal management and stability of the organization, and ensuring RMI's programmatic initiatives have continued and increasing impact. He joins a senior team that includes former partners of McKinsey and Company, Boston Consulting Group and Cambridge Energy Research Associates.
"I am honored and excited to be joining Rocky Mountain Institute,” Kortenhorst said. “Over its more than 31 years of history, RMI has shown itself to be a forward-thinking organization that has made significant changes to the discussion, knowledge and practice about critical energy issues. Given the urgent climate challenges humanity faces, I look forward to helping RMI drive greater impact in the years ahead."
Co-founded in 1982 by Amory Lovins, RMI has approximately 70 full-time staff, an annual budget of nearly $12 million and a global reputation. For the past three decades, RMI has worked to advance market-based solutions that transform global energy use, engaging businesses, communities and institutions to cost-effectively shift to efficiency and renewables and create a clean, prosperous and secure energy future.
With the help and support of its Board, over the past few years RMI has solidified its leadership team and focused its strategic long-term plans toward driving the business-led transition to a more competitive U.S. economy needing no oil, no coal, and one-third less natural gas by 2050, as outlined in Reinventing Fire. While Reinventing Fire and RMI’s sector-based initiatives focus chiefly on the United States, last month RMI and its distinguished Chinese and U.S. partners launched in Beijing a similar Reinventing Fire study for China as input for the country’s next five-year plan.
"Jules is a consummate leader who is passionate about climate issues and about the importance of practical, profitable solutions scaled by the private sector," said Chief Scientist Lovins. “Jules embraces RMI's tenacious transformation of global energy use. With his business acumen and robust experience confronting the energy issues of today, Jules grasps the challenging complexity of the long game in which RMI is engaged. His global viewpoint and strategic vision for how RMI can continue, boldly and persistently, to tackle the world’s toughest energy challenges make him a welcome asset to our organization."