Season 2, Episode 3: Radha Kuppalli ’06, Managing Director of Investor Services at New Forests with Reeve Harde ’20
Radha Kuppalli ’06 is managing director of investor services at New Forests, a sustainable forestry investment management firm founded in 2005. She is interviewed by Reeve Harde ’20.
About radha kuppalli ’06
Radha Kuppalli ’06 is managing director of investor services at New Forests, a sustainable forestry investment management firm founded in 2005. Her oversight includes client relations, funds marketing, and integration of responsible investment and ESG innovations into investment strategy. She is an executive director of the board of New Forests Pty Ltd., a member of the company’s Executive Committee, and a member of the Investment Committee. Radha has been with New Forests since 2006 and is motivated by bringing capital, ideas, and people together to scale climate change solutions and protect biodiversity. Radha has a bachelor of arts in international studies and economic theory from American University in Washington, D.C., and an MBA and master’s degree in environmental management from Yale University’s School of Management and School of Forestry and Environmental Studies. She is on the advisory board of the Yale Center for Business and the Environment and is an associate of the Yale World Fellows program. She is also an alumna of the Junior Fellows Program of the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace.
Radha Kuppalli ’06 (16:53)
I think we actually have to rethink what conservation finance actually means because we actually need to start thinking about a world where the business model is completely changing so that the products and services that we’re generating are not creating negative outcomes, but we’re rethinking supply chains, rethinking products, rethinking engagement with consumers so that we have sustainable energy outcomes, we stop deforestation, and that we’re actually greening the various products and services that we’re creating so that everything is leading towards a restoration or a conservation outcome and that it’s not just relegated to this niche kind of industry.
Radha Kuppalli ’06 (34:53)
I think again for anyone who’s listening and thinking about an MBA program, think a lot about your values and the kind of people that you want to surround yourself with because I think graduate school is such an important place for shaping your network and thinking about how you’re going to enter the world and move your career forward.
Radha Kuppalli ’06 (11:44)
And so it was a fantastic three years of being able to combine a lot of different interests across finance and learning about a variety of environmental issues. But I would have to say I didn’t really come in with a strong focus on conservation finance... I had more of a philosophical and a passion around climate. It was really just meeting David Brand, my CEO and colleague for so many years now, that made me start to think about forestry and land management in a completely different way and that kind of launched me down this path, and ultimately forestry has been surprisingly really interesting for me. I never thought this is a sector I would be part of, but it’s combined all my interests in science, technology, environmental issues, climate, human rights, social development, trade, economics, investors, and finance to create kind of a really interesting, really interesting career.
About Career Conversations
In this podcast series, SOM students sit down with alumni for a series of candid conversations about career paths, industries, opportunities for MBAs, and discussions on various career topics including work-life balance and creating a meaningful impact in business and society. This series is produced by and recorded at the Yale School of Management.