Afsaneh Mashayekhi Beschloss was born in Iran in the 1950s. Her father, Mohammad Mashayekhi, was a prominent education reformer and president of a national teacher training university during the reign of Shah Mohammad Reza Pahlavi. Her father was initially barred from leaving the country following the overthrow of the shah during the 1979 revolution, but Beschloss’s family eventually made it to the United States in the 1980s, settling in the Washington, D.C., area.
After graduating with an MPhil in economics from the University of Oxford, Beschloss embarked on a career with roles in both the private and public sectors in the United Kingdom and the United States. She worked for the energy company Shell International as well as the investment giants J.P. Morgan and the Carlyle Group, where she was managing director and partner.
Beschloss is widely regarded for her work at the World Bank, the influential international development institution, where she served as treasurer and chief investment officer. She led the World Bank’s energy investments and policy work on sustainable investing in climate-related renewable energy, power, and infrastructure projects. She also founded the World Bank’s Natural Gas Group, which invested in natural gas as a transitional fuel to reduce carbon emissions.
Beschloss is the founder and CEO of RockCreek, a leading global investment firm and a trailblazer in socially responsible investing in areas such as renewable energy, education, and affordable housing. Coauthor of The Economics of Natural Gas: Pricing, Planning and Policy (1990), she is the author of numerous articles on finance, energy, and impact. Beschloss also taught international trade and economic development at the University of Oxford.
Beschloss is currently on the boards of the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton, the Council on Foreign Relations, the World Resources Institute, and the American Red Cross. She is also vice-chair of the Public Broadcasting Service (PBS) board. In 2020, she joined the board of the Blum Center for Developing Economies at the University of California, Berkeley.
In 2020, Beschloss was named by Barron’s as one of the “100 Most Influential Women in U.S. Finance,” and American Banker recognized her as one of the“25 Most Powerful Women in Finance.” She is also the recipient of the Institutional Investor Lifetime Achievement Award and the Robert F. Kennedy Ripple of Hope Award.