Following in Al Gore’s footsteps, former British Prime Minister Tony Blair is looking to cash-in on cleantech opportunities and as has signed-on as a senior adviser with Khosla Ventures, one of silicon Valley’s most ambitious green-venture capital fund. On his appointment the former British Prime Minister said:
I’m neither a tech expert nor a financial expert, but I find the conversation I had to contemplate the vast expanses of my own ignorance. The answers to climate change and energy security lies in the technological innovations. I am thrilled to play whatever small part I can.
Al Gore has been a trail blaizer in translating his climate change advocacy into serious dollars. In 2007 he joined Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers as a partner. He’s also helped launched Generation Investment Management, a London-based, green-focused asset management firm. Last year at a hearing Gore passionately defended his business practices, saying he saw nothing wrong in investing in ways that are consistent with his beliefs — see this video.
So what will Blair and his self-processed lack of technology and financial experience do? He’ll likely open doors, be a deluxe flack that ensures that the right people and opportunities connect. In short monetize the contracts he’s accumulated while at 10 Downing Street.
Shortly after leaving office, almost two years ago, Blair signed on a part-time senior adviser with New York investment bank JP Morgan Chase, a gig that reportedly pays him more than $987,000.
It’s unclear how much Blair will pocket at Khosla. On the appointment Khosla founder, Vinod Khosla said the fund would rely on Blair’s deep policy expertise to grow its cleantech investment portfolio. “What has surprised me is the diversity of the technology. That’s why we need people like Tony. The effects of policy on innovation and innovation on policy is invaluable,” Khosla said, as reported by Earth2Tech.
We’ve reached out to Khosla Ventures and will post any updates.