He is replacing Deborah Winshel, who ran the platform when it was called BlackRock Impact. Ms. Winshel is now head of philanthropy.
Mr. Deese will lead and expand the 11-person sustainable investing team, which currently oversees $195 billion in assets. He will be based in Boston and report to Rich Kushel, global head of multiasset strategies.
Mr. Deese was President Barack Obama's senior adviser for climate and energy policy.
BlackRock had $5.977 trillion in assets under management as of Sept. 30.