Panel + Q&A (*Maximum 4 Panelists)

Innovative Relief Funds to Save the SDGs: Energy Access Relief Fund

You voted for this

In the last 10 years, nearly half a billion people have been served with energy access solutions and 370,000 jobs have been created. With a growth rate of 30%, the sector’s future was bright with hope that achieving SDG7 – universal energy access – by 2030 was within sight. Then Covid-19 hit and brought the world to a standstill. Through a grassroots investor effort, Acumen, CDC, and others embarked on a $100M relief fund effort to help save all the progress made to achieve SDG7. Asking investors and grant makers to bend over backwards and do what they’ve never done before, learn more about the journey to create the first ever SDG Relief Fund.

Confirmed Panelists

Leslie Labruto, Global Head of Energy, Acumen

Leslie Labruto is an Associate Director on our Portfolio team and our Head of Global Energy, where she leads Acumen’s $20M Pioneer Energy Investment Initiative (PEII). Leslie is responsible for driving strategy, portfolio construction, and thought leadership for Acumen’s Global Energy Portfolio. Leslie joined Acumen from the Clinton Foundation, where she served as Director of Clean Energy for the Clinton Climate Initiative (CCI) and led programmatic strategy and partnerships. Previously, Leslie worked at Summit Partners, a $15 billion venture capital firm in Boston. Leslie holds two degrees in Civil and Mechanical Engineering from Imperial College London and Vanderbilt University.


Sarah Bieber, Associate Director of Strategic Partnerships, Acumen – 

As Associate Director for Strategic Partnerships, Sarah cultivates Acumen’s relationships with corporations that want to co-invest in pioneering enterprises in emerging markets.

Prior to joining Acumen in 2018, Sarah spent seven years as a foreign service officer for the US Agency for International Development (USAID) in Bangkok and Washington, DC. She most recently led a global partnership to mobilize public- and private-sector investment in off-grid solar solutions in sub-Saharan Africa. Sarah’s career has focused on advancing clean energy to address climate change.

Sarah holds a master’s degree from Columbia University’s School for International and Public Affairs, and a bachelor’s degree from Tulane University.

Unconfirmed Panelists

 Geoff Manley, Head of Energy, CDC

Stephanie Bilo, Chief of Client & Investment Solutions, responsAbility

Nthabi Mosia, COO, Easy Solar

Sam Parker, CEO, Shell Foundation

Supporting Materials

Share this session idea

Comment on this session idea

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *