Women Investment Professionals

What’s Important Now “WIN” Educational Series: ESG Investing: The Past, Present and Future 

April 29, 2021 @ 4:00 PM – 5:30 PM America/Chicago Timezone
$10 Non-Members
Dee Farris

The interest in ESG investing has accelerated as a result of the global pandemic.  In our inaugural WIN event of 2021, a panel of experts will provide an overview of the current landscape of ESG investing.  We will review the evolution of ESG and discuss what you should expect in the foreseeable future.  ESG investing is likely to impact your role in the investment industry, so please join us to learn how you can benefit from the ESG trend.


Erika Spence, Vice President, Data Strategy, eVestment

Erika Spence is the Head of Data Strategy at eVestment, a Nasdaq business unit. Her primary role is to determine strategic ways that eVestment can increase the depth, breadth, and quality of the data our users depend on to make investment decisions. Prior to joining eVestment, Erika spent seven years at Cambridge Associates, LLC, where she was a member of the management team for the Manager Information Group and, later, a Senior Project Manager in CA’s Capital Markets Research Group. Erika graduated from UCLA in 2006 with a degree in Political Science.



Rodrigo Garcia, CTP®, AIF®
Deputy State Treasurer / Chief Investment Officer
Illinois State Treasurer

Rodrigo Garcia, CTP®, AIF® is the deputy state treasurer and chief investment officer for Illinois State Treasurer Michael W. Frerichs. He directs the Illinois treasury’s combined $38 billion investment portfolios, $275 billion in related banking operations and financial activities, and a $3.2 billion agency budget and financial reporting unit. He is a frequent speaker and contributor on topics such as financial innovation, investment stewardship, the financial markets, corporate governance, inclusive capitalism, sustainable finance/ESG, development finance, impact investing, public policy, leadership, and diversity & inclusion. He is an Adjunct Professor in Public Finance at Northwestern University, an Aspen Global Finance Fellow and a recent TEDx speaker. He also is a Certified Treasury Professional (CTP®), an Accredited Investment Fiduciary (AIF®), and holds SASB’s FSA credential.

Rodrigo was previously the director of the Illinois Department of Veterans’ Affairs and a member of the Illinois Cabinet, and has also worked for Morgan Stanley & Co., Inc. and the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago. Rodrigo holds an undergraduate degree with a major in finance from Northeastern Illinois University, two post-graduate degrees, one with a focus in finance from the University of Illinois and one with a focus in public policy from Northwestern University and has also completed a senior executives program at Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government.

Rodrigo chairs the investment selection committee at Angeles Investors, chairs the investment committee for the endowment at Northeastern Illinois University, serves on the investment committee for the endowment at Youth Guidance/Becoming a Man, serves on the investment committee for the endowment at Leadership Greater Chicago, serves as the treasurer on the board of directors for the Thirty Percent Investor Coalition and is the chairman emeritus of Student Veterans of America. He also serves on the advisory councils for the Private Directors Association, the Milken Institute’s Global Capital Markets group and the Aspen Institute’s Latinos in Society program.

He is a dedicated public servant, an investment platform innovator, an angel investor, and an economic systems architect battling the many challenges afflicting our communities


Emily Lawrence
Director, Senior Specialist for Sustainable Investing
Northern Trust Asset Management

Emily Lawrence is Director of Sustainable Investing at Northern Trust Asset Management where she is responsible for client engagement and partnership regarding Northern Trusts’ sustainable investing capabilities. Emily has 14 years’ experience collaborating with clients to support the development of actionable approaches to sustainable investing. In addition to representing the investment platform, Emily collaborates directly with clients to conduct trainings and facilitate discussions on concepts, themes and trends through individual meetings, webinars and thought leadership. She is also an active member of the Northern Trust Sustainable Investing Council, Proxy Voting Committee and Executive CSR Council. In 2019, Emily was appointed to co-chair the Events Committee for the Diversity Project North America.  She sits on the ESG sub-committee for a variety of industry bodies including DCIIA, ICI, and ABA. Previously, Emily was selected to join the Principles for Responsible Investment working group focused on Active Ownership and the Sustainable Development Goals and the Climate Action and Resiliency Plan Working Group for the government of Evanston, IL.

Prior to joining Northern Trust, Emily managed research production for MSCI ESG Research’s Screening Research and Bespoke Research teams.  Joining MSCI ESG Research via KLD in 2007, Emily was responsible for overseeing key data collection, analysis and quality initiatives including acting as a member of the Business Involvement Research Methodology Committee. Emily has also served on the steering committees for the 2013 Access to Nutrition Index and the 2012 Access to Medicine Index.

Emily received her M.Res. in International Conflict Resolution from the Institut Catholique de Paris and holds an MSc. In European Politics and Governance from the London School of Economics.  Additionally, Emily holds a B.A. in French Language and Literature from the University of New Hampshire.  She is fluent in French.



Kelli Okuji Wilson
Analyst and Health Care Sector Lead

Kelli Okuji Wilson is an analyst on the Research team covering the healthcare sector. Mrs. Wilson works with companies, investors and subject matter experts to develop and drive the adoption of market standards for reporting financially-material, cost-effective, and decision-useful sustainability information.

Prior to SASB, Mrs. Wilson was a lead analyst with Moody’s Investors Service on the Local Governments West team, covering ten different states and a variety of municipal entities, including hospital districts, public utilities, cities, and school districts. At Moody’s, Mrs. Wilson served as a member of the ESG Americas Taskforce and the US PFG ESG Taskforce, where she helped author Moody’s fundamental research piece on how ESG factors are integrated into Moody’s general obligation methodology. Mrs. Wilson also was a member of the Non-for-Profit Healthcare team, where she monitored speculative-grade and near-speculative grade credits for multi-million and multi-billion dollar healthcare system issuers. Mrs. Wilson received her MBA from Columbia Business School and a Master in International Affairs from Columbia University’s SIPA. She received her BA from Harvard University with a concentration in sociology.

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