April 12, 2016
Tomicah Tillemann was profiled by NationSwell:
As a staff member working for the U.S. Senate Committee on Foreign Relations in the mid 2000s, Tomicah Tillemann reported to now-Vice President Joe Biden and worked extensively with, he says with a chuckle, “a new senator from Illinois named Barack Obama.”
Inspired by successful policy work, Tillemann remained in government, serving as Secretary Hillary Clinton’s speechwriter (once going 100 hours without sleep in order to perfect a speech) and later, as her senior adviser. That work informed Tillemann’s current position as director of the Bretton Woods II initiative at New America, a new model of investing that combines the public and private sectors and technology to further social impact causes worldwide.
NationSwell sat down with Tillemann at New America’s minimalist offices in Washington, D.C., just blocks from the White House, to discuss the importance of collaboration and why appealing to logic isn’t always successful.
Is there an innovation in your field that you’re particularly excited about right now?
In the work we’re doing right now at the Bretton Woods II initiative, we started from the realization that we’re living in a world with a huge quantum of capital and problems. We don’t do enough connecting the two, and we have yet to develop a business model that allows us to move resources to solve big global challenges. What we have recognized is that with good data and good analytics, you can provide big asset holders with the information they need to see how targeted investments in social impact and development can address the root causes of the volatility that eat away at their profits.