Penny Davies is the foundation's international program director for Natural Resources and Climate Change. She previously served as a program officer, working with organizations on international climate change policies, specifically the potential of tropical forests and land use to mitigate climate change and benefit low-income rural communities and indigenous peoples. Penny is also a member of the foundation's collaboration on the Climate and Land Use Alliance (CLUA), whose other members include the ClimateWorks, David and Lucile Packard, and Gordon and Betty Moore Foundations, with aligned foundations Margaret A. Cargill Philanthropies and Good Energies.
Penny joined Ford in 2012, following her tenure as the senior forestry adviser for the British government's Department for International Development (DFID). In this role, she led DFID's international policy and program work on forests, working closely with the World Bank, UN agencies, the European Commission, bilateral development agencies, and civil society organizations. Penny held other positions at DFID, among them team leader for extreme poverty, economic growth, and climate change in Bangladesh, head of DFID's regional office in Central America, and forestry coordinator for Indonesia.
Previously, Penny worked as a consultant for the European Union on an agricultural frontier program in Central America, as natural resources economist at the Bolivian Centro de Investigación Agrícola Tropical, on adult literacy in Sierra Leone, urban development in Nepal, and as a rural teacher in Northern Nigeria.
Penny played a central role in developing the UK's international forest governance initiatives and has consistently worked to strengthen rural grassroots organizations, build alliances between government and civil society, and promote policies that benefit remote rural and forest peoples.
Penny holds two master's degrees, one from the University of Oxford on forests in relation to land use and the other from the University of London on agricultural development and economics. She received her undergraduate degree in English literature, with an emphasis on African literature, from the University of Bristol.