Penny Davies is part of the Equitable Development team. As a program officer in New York, she has worked with organizations on national and international climate change policies that benefit low-income rural communities, particularly indigenous peoples. Her grant making has also focused on efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from forest degradation and deforestation and on global and local work specifically aligned with the foundation's Brazil, Indonesia, and Mexico and Central America offices. In addition, Penny has joined Ford's collaboration on the Climate and Land Use Alliance, whose members include the ClimateWorks, David and Lucile Packard, Cargill, and Gordon and Betty Moore Foundations.
Penny joined Ford in 2012, following her tenure as the senior forestry adviser for the British government's Department for International Development. In this role, she led DFID's global 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 the regional office in Central America, and forestry coordinator for Indonesia.
Previously, Penny was a regional agroforestry consultant for a European Union agricultural frontier program in Central America as well as a rural economist at the Bolivian Centro de Investigación Agrícola Tropical.
Penny played a central role in developing the UK's international forestry initiatives and has consistently worked to strengthen rural grassroots organizations, build alliances between government and civil society, and promote policies that benefit forest communities.
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.