Tony Blair's Second Act: Cleantech Venture Capitalist

Former UK Prime Minister Tony Blair
AP
If Al Gore could do it, why not Tony Blair?

The Former British Prime Minister has joined Khosla Ventures, a Silicon-Valley-based firm founded by the veteran technologist and venture capitalist Vinod Khosla. Blair's charge will be to work as a public policy adviser to the firm's portfolio of green portfolio companies.

"I am increasingly and crucially aware of the fact that the answer to these twin challenges -- climate change and energy security -- lies in developing the technological solutions of the future," Blair said in a statement.

"Solving the climate crisis is more than just a political agenda item - it's an urgent priority that requires innovation, creativity, and ambition," the statement quoted Blair. "I share a clear vision with Vinod, one of the earliest leaders in cleantech investment, that entrepreneurs in Silicon Valley and beyond will have a tremendous impact on our environmental future. Vinod's portfolio companies are galvanizing scientific and technological know-how into businesses that can make a huge difference in reducing carbon and other emissions, and I look forward to dedicating a portion of my time to help them move us toward a more sustainable tomorrow."

In putting his Rolodex to work for a California VC firm, Blair is following in Gore's footsteps. The former vice president is a partner at Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, among the most influential venture capital firms in the tech business.

Speaking at the firm's limited partner summit taking place in Sausalito, Calif., Khosla said Blair is "going to help us in many areas that techie nerds like us here in Silicon Valley don't understand and tend to underestimate the importance of." Blair, who left office three years ago, has often spoken out on the need for policy makers and businessmen to work more closely to solve environmental problems.

  • Charles Cooper On Twitter»

    Charles Cooper is an executive editor at CNET News. He has covered technology and business for more than 25 years, working at CBSNews.com, the Associated Press, Computer & Software News, Computer Shopper, PC Week, and ZDNet. E-mail Charlie.

Comments

CBSN Live

pop-out
Live Video

Watch CBSN Live

Watch CBS News anytime, anywhere with the new 24/7 digital news network. Stream CBSN live or on demand for FREE on your TV, computer, tablet, or smartphone.