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Former Presidential Campaign Adviser to Lead Arnold Ventures’ Advocacy Work

Kevin Madden, a nationally-recognized public affairs executive, will help integrate advocacy and communications strategies with policy and research, positioning the organization as a leader in public policy debates and outcomes at the federal, state, and local levels.

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Kevin Madden, a nationally-recognized public affairs executive and former presidential campaign adviser, is joining Arnold Ventures as Executive Vice President of Advocacy. In his new role, Madden will help lead the integration of Arnold Ventures’ advocacy and communications strategies with its policy and research capabilities, continuing to position the organization as a leader in shaping public policy debates and positive outcomes at the federal, state, and local government levels.

“Arnold Ventures has a well-earned reputation for taking a clear-eyed approach to the problem-solving process,” said Madden, who served as a senior adviser and spokesman for three presidential campaigns in the 2004, 2008, and 2012 campaign cycles. “This is an organization driven by a desire to make a positive impact. My job will be to help marshal all our assets — which include the brightest policy, research, and communications professionals who are supported by a visionary leadership team — to deliver on these organizational goals.”

Madden is arriving at a time when the philanthropy is placing an even greater emphasis on its advocacy efforts, doubling down on critical issues that have bipartisan support ranging from criminal justice to health care, education, and government reform.

“Creating meaningful change on a large scale demands a multifaceted approach,” said Kelli Rhee, President and CEO of Arnold Ventures, which is now structured as an LLC. “The early steps — grant funding and research — are absolutely critical, but at some point, those findings must find their way into the hands of the individuals who are actually involved in the decision-making process. Kevin’s arrival signals our commitment to moving swiftly and decisively across the policy-change spectrum.”

Madden, who comes to Arnold Ventures from the public affairs and strategic advisory firm Hamilton Place Strategies, brings more than 20 years of experience as an adviser and counselor to some of the nation’s top corporations, business associations, industry coalitions, and nonprofits. He has designed and managed comprehensive and effective public affairs campaigns, working with CEOs and executive teams to navigate today’s media environment.

“The most effective organizations in today’s advocacy environment fuse data and research together with passion and insight,” Madden said. “I’m excited to join an organization like Arnold Ventures where these principles are both a shared vision and the inspiration for the day-to-day approach to our work.”

Madden begins his new role Sept. 3 and will be based in the philanthropy’s Washington, D.C., office. Arnold Ventures has its headquarters in Houston, with satellite offices in both Washington and New York.

The most effective organizations in today’s advocacy environment fuse data and research together with passion and insight.
Kevin Madden Arnold Ventures Executive Vice President of Advocacy