Jay Koh

Founder & Chair of the Global Adaptation & Resilience Investment Working Group (GARI); Founder & Managing Director of The Lightsmith Group 

Jay L. Koh is Founder & Chair of the Global Adaptation & Resilience Investment Working Group (GARI), and Founder & Managing Director of The Lightsmith Group.  

GARI is a private sector, private investor-led initiative that was launched at Paris COP21 and is an official partner of the UN Secretary General’s A2R Climate Resilience Initiative.  

The Lightsmith Group is a global investment platform that was founded in 2016 and is focused on generating superior returns aligned with sustainable principles.  Lightsmith is the sponsor of the Climate Resilience & Adaptation Finance/Transfer Facility (CRAFT) concept, the first dedicated climate resilience and adaptation fund.

Mr. Koh has over 20 years of experience at top-tier institutions in the public and private sectors. Prior to founding Lightsmith in 2016, Mr. Koh was a Managing Director and Partner of Siguler Guff, a global alternative investment firm with over $10 billion under management.  Prior to joining Siguler Guff in 2012, Mr. Koh was the Head of Investment Funds and Chief Investment Strategist at the Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC). In this role, Mr. Koh led the agency’s $2.6 billion active emerging markets private equity program. From 2007 to 2009, Mr. Koh led private equity and illiquid investing for Europe, the Middle East and Africa (EMEA) at R3 Capital, formerly the Global Principal Strategies Division of Lehman Brothers.  Previously, Mr. Koh focused on direct growth equity investing as a Principal at The Carlyle Group, where he worked from 2000 to 2007 and also from 1993 to 1995.  From 1998 to 2000, he served as a law clerk to Justice David H. Souter, United States Supreme Court, and to Judge Michael Boudin, United States Court of Appeals for the First Circuit.  

Mr. Koh serves on the Private Sector Advisory Group to the UN Green Climate Fund, the Board of the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA), and the advisory committee to the NY Green Bank.  He is also an adjunct professor at Columbia University’s School of International and Public Affairs.  Mr. Koh is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations and holds an A.B. magna cum laude in Economics from Harvard College, a master’s degree in Management from Oxford University and a J.D. from Yale Law School.