President & CEO
Nuveen Green Capital
Jessica Bailey is President & CEO of Nuveen Green Capital, a leading provider of sustainable commercial real estate finance. Prior to her role at Nuveen, she co-founded Greenworks Lending, the largest provider of commercial PACE (C-PACE) financing in the country. Greenworks Lending was acquired by Nuveen, a TIAA company, in April 2021. The mission of Nuveen Green Capital is to make clean energy a smart business decision for commercial building owners. Utilizing a public-private partnership and state-enabled policy that Ms. Bailey helped to develop in 2010, C-PACE financing has become a mainstream financing tool for clean energy upgrades in commercial real estate and sustainable new construction.
Greenworks (now rebranded to Nuveen Green Capital) was founded in 2015 and has brought C-PACE financing to nearly 30 states across the country. As co-founder and CEO of Greenworks Lending, Ms. Bailey grew the company into a national lending platform operating in over 30 states, has raised and deployed over a billion dollars in debt and equity, and has built a team of over 100 professionals. Greenworks was the first company to securitize the cash flows associated with their clean energy loans in 2017 and completed the industry’s largest public securitization in 2021. Through its nationwide distribution and originations platform, it has experienced double-digit annual originations growth since founding. In 2021, she led Greenworks to a successful acquisition by Nuveen, where she has maintained her role as CEO & President of Nuveen Green Capital.
Ms. Bailey has 20 years of experience in leadership roles within non-profit, public, and private high-growth companies. She is skilled at combining vision and pragmatism to transform concepts into thriving businesses, and highly regarded for her work on translating policy into practice as it relates to reversing climate change. Her career has spanned creating policy within the philanthropic and think tank sector, to implementing policy as a government agent, to scaling solutions to societal problems in the private sector using policy frameworks as market signals.
Prior to co-founding Greenworks Lending, Ms. Bailey was with the Connecticut Green Bank as the Director of Commercial and Industrial Property Assessed Clean Energy (C-PACE), where she joined in 2012. There she designed an award-winning, state-wide PACE program, allowing building owners to access financing to perform clean energy improvements on their properties, which became the model for numerous other states’ C-PACE programs.
From 2004-2012, Ms. Bailey worked at the Rockefeller Brothers Fund (RBF), an $800 million foundation based in New York. As the Fund’s program officer for sustainable development, she co-managed a portfolio of grants focused on combating climate change and promoting clean energy. Prior to joining the RBF, she spent time working at the United Nations, Physicians for Social Responsibility, and on a research project in Ecuador.
Ms. Bailey is a recognized thought leader in the field of sustainability and lauded as a mission-driven leader of a high-growth start-up company with a successful exit. In 2022, she was ranked #30 in Commercial Observer’s 2022 Power Finance List and was also recognized in Crain’s Chicago Business 2022 Notable Leaders in Sustainability list. She was named an Ernst and Young Entrepreneurial Winning Woman in 2019, a prestigious award affiliated with EY Entrepreneur of the Year Award. Connecticut Magazine named her “40 Under 40” in 2019. She was named a “Champion of Change” by the White House for solar deployment in 2014. The Hartford Business Journal dubbed her a “Green Warrior” for her work to design the successful Connecticut C-PACE program. She sits on the boards of PACENow, the leading industry association and advocacy organization for PACE, the CT League of Conservation Voters, and Connecticut Innovations. She is also a member of the Young President’s Organization (YPO).
Ms. Bailey received her Master’s degree from Yale University and bachelor’s degree from the University of Notre Dame. She lives in Connecticut with her husband and four children.