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Silicon Valley types launch D.C. think tank

Some prominent Silicon Valley names are behind a think tank and advocacy group that launched today in Washingotn, D.C.

The Economic Innovation Group describes itself as “an ideas laboratory and advocacy organization dedicated to forging a more dynamic, entrepreneurial, and innovative U.S. economy for the 21st century” which will “convene leading voices from the public and private sectors, develop original policy research, and work with policymakers to advance legislation designed to bring new jobs, investment, and economic growth to communities across the nation.”

It’ll be led by former Obama Administration senior economic advisor Steve Glickman and John Lettieri, a former aide to Sen. Chuck Hagel, R-Neb., and trade association executive. And the group’s Founders Circle includes angel investor Ron Conway of San Francisco; Rebecca Lynn, co-founder of Canvas Venture Fund in Menlo Park; Brigade chairman Sean Parker of Los Angeles, formerly of Napster and Facebook; Joseph Sanberg of Los Angeles, co-founder of Aspiration.com and Pt Capital; Dana Settle of Los Angeles, co-founder of Greycroft Partners; and Ted Ullyot of Hillsborough, investor and Facebook’s first general counsel.

“It’s time for a paradigm shift in the way we think about growth, investment, and job creation. Important voices are missing from the policy debate, and Washington is mired in the same, stale conversations,” Glickman said in a news release. “We’re bringing together entrepreneurs and investors who are at the vanguard of our economy to tap into their ideas, resources, and creativity to help increase economic opportunity around the country.”

Settle said the uneven economic recovery has left many communities behind. “We need greater engagement from leaders in the private sector – not simply to advance their own interests, but to help address national challenges that go beyond the boundaries of any single industry.”

EIG’s Economic Advisory Board will be led by Kevin Hassett, economic policy director at the conservative American Enterprise Institute and former advisor to several Republican presidential candidates; Jared Bernstein, senior fellow at the Center for Budget and Policy Priorities and former chief economist to Vice President Joseph Biden; Steven Davis and Austan Goolsbee, both at the University of Chicago’s Booth School of Business; Kenneth Rogoff at Harvard University, and Matthew Slaughter at Dartmouth College’s Tuck School of Business.

Hasset said the group “inhabits a unique space in the policy ecosystem that has been vacant for far too long, bringing a fresh and entrepreneurial voice to Washington” and will “take the best bipartisan ideas from the academic and think tank communities, and help ensure they receive the attention and support they deserve.”

EIG will first policy event is scheduled for April 15, 2015, in partnership with The Atlantic and coinciding with the release of the group’s first white paper, authored by Hassett and Bernstein and focused on unlocking capital to revitalize distressed communities.

Josh Richman

Josh Richman covers state and national politics for the Bay Area News Group. A New York City native, he earned a bachelor’s degree in journalism from the University of Missouri and reported for the Express-Times of Easton, Pa. for five years before coming to the Oakland Tribune and ANG Newspapers in 1997. He is a frequent guest on KQED Channel 9’s “This Week in Northern California;” a proud father; an Eagle Scout; a somewhat skilled player of low-stakes poker; a rather good cook; a firm believer in the use of semicolons; and an unabashed political junkie who will never, EVER seek elected office.

  • RRSenileColumnist

    Maybe they can hire Ro Khanna to prepare meetings, serve snacks and drinks, stuff like that

  • Elwood

    That’s just unkind!

  • RRSenileColumnist

    Lol