Galvanize hires from GI Partners and research group DARPA

The climate-focused investment platform, which launched in September, named its chief impact officer last month.

Galvanize Climate Solutions, the investment platform launched last year by American billionaire Tom Steyer, has continued the buildout of its leadership team with two senior hires.

Galvanize, which Steyer co-founded in September with Katie Hall of Hall Capital Partners, has brought on Sachi Blue-Smith from the private markets firm GI Partners to serve as chief people officer. The firm has also named Kacy Gerst, who previously worked for the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, a US government-funded biological technologies development group, as vice-president of science and technology.

Sachi Blue-Smith, Galvanize

The hires follow Galvanize naming Nicole Systrom, a climate-tech specialist, as chief impact officer in January. The firm has stated that hiring experts with vast industry experience will be a priority to “produce and scale vital and urgent climate solutions”, according to a statement released by Galvanize.

Blue-Smith joined the firm after three years as chief human resources officer at GI Partners, a multi-strategy private markets firm that has raised more than $29 billion for investments in private equity, real estate and infrastructure. Before GI Partners, Blue-Smith served as a talent partner and director of portfolio services at venture capital firm Index Ventures.

Kacy Gerst, Galvanize

At DARPA, Gerst served as chief of commercial strategy and built the agency’s embedded entrepreneurship initiative.

Galvanize’s launch last year came amid a red-hot fundraising market for firms collecting capital to invest in climate-related opportunities. Private markets investors including Brookfield, TPG and Goldman Sachs are in the process of raising billions for their own climate strategies.

A spokesperson for Galvanize declined to comment on the firm’s future plans for raising or deploying capital.