Arnold Ventures Launches Bold, New Infrastructure Initiative
Houston, TX – Arnold Ventures (AV), a philanthropic organization dedicated to solving some of the most pressing issues facing the United States, is excited to announce the launch of a bold, new infrastructure initiative and the hiring of Charlie Anderson to serve as executive vice president for infrastructure.
This new initiative will support research, policy development, and advocacy aimed at bolstering U.S. capacity to build infrastructure – including housing, transportation, energy transmission, carbon reduction, and more – faster, better, and at a lower cost.
“Local, state, and federal governments are projected to spend trillions in public dollars on the infrastructure necessary to address a lack of housing supply, replace aging bridges and highways, and support a low-carbon economic future,” said Kelli Rhee, president and chief executive officer of Arnold Ventures. “However, obstacles such as onerous policies, regulatory barriers, and the government’s diminished capacity to build cost-effective infrastructure all threaten to undermine this ambitious agenda. Arnold Ventures is focused on finding bipartisan solutions to help overcome these obstacles.”
The AV Infrastructure portfolio will focus on expanding the knowledge base of what works – and what doesn’t – when it comes to building infrastructure in the United States, as well as supporting the creation and implementation of innovative policy solutions and partnerships at the local, state, and federal levels. This will include comprehensive efforts to address cross-cutting challenges, such as addressing supply-side bottlenecks, accelerating the permitting process for critical projects, and improving the government’s ability to support project delivery. The initiative will back policies, partnerships, and thought leaders working to make both near-term and longer-term progress and will consider all available policy levers – including legislation, executive actions, public-private partnerships, issue campaigns, and private sector and non-profit collaboration – at every and any level of government.
This initiative will be led by Charlie Anderson, who has more than fifteen years of high-level economic policy experience across the federal executive and legislative branches. Most recently, he served as a special assistant to the president for economic policy at the White House National Economic Council in the Biden administration. In that role, he led the NEC’s work on permitting and environmental review in preparation for the opportunities presented by the historic legislation passed in 2021 and 2022 – including the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, the Inflation Reduction Act, and the CHIPS and Science Act.
“Charlie is an exceptional leader who brings deep public sector experience and expertise in economic policy to our team,” said Rhee. “His insights will be critical in helping us find ways to rebuild the government’s ability to provide tangible public value and deliver necessary services, infrastructure, and innovation in an efficient and effective manner.”
Anderson previously served as director of economic policy and budget for the Biden administration’s COVID-19 Response Team, leading the team’s work to budget for fighting a global pandemic while also coordinating international travel policy and workplace safety policy.
“We have a once-in-a-generation opportunity for historic policy changes and trillions of dollars in new infrastructure investments to drive a clean energy boom, a massive expansion of housing affordability, stronger economic growth and global competitiveness, and higher wages for workers in America,” said Anderson. “Across party lines, sectors, and geographies, people are increasingly recognizing that the potential of this moment will only be realized if we do everything we can to build faster, better, and at lower cost. I’m excited to join Arnold Ventures at a critical moment to do everything I can to help make this promise a reality.”
Before joining the Biden Administration, Anderson served as the senior advisor for tax and economic policy to Sen. Michael Bennet of Colorado, special assistant to the president for economic policy and senior advisor to the director at the White House National Economic Council, in various capacities at the Department of the Treasury, and at the White House Domestic Policy Council. He was also the deputy field director in Georgia for the Obama-Biden 2008 campaign. Born in New York and raised in North Carolina, Anderson is a graduate of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and Harvard’s Kennedy School. He lives in Washington, DC.
Anderson assumes the role of executive vice president of infrastructure today – on May 16, 2023.
Reflecting the urgency of the moment, Arnold Ventures plans to quickly ramp up our infrastructure initiative. The Director of Infrastructure position is currently open for applications.
About Arnold Ventures
Arnold Ventures is a philanthropy dedicated to tackling some of the most pressing problems in the United States. We invest in sustainable change, building it from the ground up based on research, deep thinking, and a strong foundation of evidence. We drive public conversation, craft policy, and inspire action through education and advocacy.