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Cornell University Cornell Brooks Public Policy

Environmental Finance and Impact Investing (EFII) Fellows Program

Through a series of courses, coupled with applied projects, EFII Program Fellows will be trained to invest in, manage, or regulate businesses or projects seeking financial, environmental, and/or social goals. Fellows will gain experience in a range of topics, including finance and analytics, markets and regulation, science and technology, and economic and political analysis. In addition, they will be required to engage in professional learning opportunities that will include internships and hands-on, applied projects with investors, industry, government, and the NGO community.

Application Requirements:

General Cornell Admission: Satisfaction of the general requirements for admission to CIPA or another Cornell graduate degree program, as outlined on the Cornell Graduate School website.

Prerequisites: You must be in good academic standing at CIPA or in another Cornell graduate program. Prior exposure to econometrics or accounting is recommended.

Application Process:

Strategic Plan: Submit an essay of up to 1,000 words demonstrating your interest in participating in the program, as well as the value-added perspective or experience that you will bring to the program and its faculty and students. In addition, you should discuss how you hope to incorporate the EFII program into your future academic and professional life.

Interview: If selected as a finalist for the EFII Fellows program, you will be asked to participate in an interview with EFII program faculty and/or staff.

Application Deadline: The deadline for applying to the 2019-20 EFII Fellows program is April 12, 2019.

Documentation: Applications should include the following materials, and should be sent electronically to with a copy to (please indicate ‘EFII Program Application’ in the Subject line of your email). Materials can also be submitted in hard copy to the CIPA Main Office, 294 Caldwell Hall. The following materials should be included:

  • Strategic Plan
  • Résumé/CV
  • Transcripts (undergraduate and graduate, if applicable)

Academic Requirements

In consultation with their respective academic advisors and the EFII program director (John Tobin-de la Puente, Professor of Practice of Corporate Sustainability), EFII Fellows will design a course of studies that includes the following courses required to obtained the EFII Certificate:

Required Coursework for EFII Certificate (12 credits)

  • PADM 5570: Corporate Responsibility (Fall) – 3 credits
  • AEM 4090: Environmental Finance and Markets (Spring) – 3 credits
  • PAM 5970: Economics and Environmental Policy (Fall) or equivalent course (with approval of the EFII program director) – 3 credits
  • PADM 5579: EFII Project Course (Winter/Spring) – 3 credits (see additional information below)
  • In addition, NCC 5560: Managerial Finance (Fall/Spring) (3 credits) or equivalent is recommended

Elective Coursework for EFII Certificate (at least 1.5 credits from the list below)

  • AEM 6125: Impact Evaluation in Developing Countries (Fall) – 3 credits
  • NBA 5100: Social Entrepreneurship (Fall) – 1.5 credits
  • NBA 5110: Financial Modeling (Spring, Accounting prerequisite) – 1.5 credits
  • PADM 5425: Accounting for Corporate, Governmental, and Nonprofit Organizations (Spring) – 3 credits
  • PADM 5130 Legal Aspects of Public Agency Decision-Making (Fall) – 3 credits PADM 5410: Nonprofit Management and Finance (Fall) – 4 credits
  • PADM 5449: Systems Thinking and Modeling in Public Affairs (Fall) – 3 credits PADM 5755: Infrastructure Financing (Spring) – 3 credits

Additional requirements for EFII Certificate:

  1. Meet with other EFII Fellows on a monthly basis to exchange information about environmental finance and impact investing, share intelligence about job opportunities, and discuss recent developments. These informal gatherings will generally take place on Monday evenings and may involve a restaurant meal or other similar event.
  2. Participate in a one- or two-day field trek to NYC in the Spring semester, organized by CIPA, to meet with market actors in the fields of environmental finance and impact investing.
  3. Successfully complete a practical experience requirement related to EFII. This will normally consist of an EFII Project Course in the first half of the Spring semester (referred to above), which will be preceded by a project-related course trip (involving field work with EFII partners/clients), organized by CIPA, over the Winter break.

“The EFII program was one of the reasons I chose CIPA. My background is in international development and I was interested in learning more about the role of the private sector in achieving environmental and social development goals. The EFII program allowed me to develop a deeper understanding of the financial side of this equation.

I loved being a part of the program because it fit perfectly into the flexible structure of CIPA curriculum and included a practical work experience component. EFII helped me focus within my concentration.”

Elif Senvardarli, MPA 2017
ESG Research Analyst, Calvert Research and Management