Dr. Tomicah Tillemann Joins New America as Senior Fellow to Direct Bretton Woods II Initiative

Press Release
Dec. 18, 2014

Washington, DC — New America announced that Dr. Tomicah Tillemann joined the organization as a Senior Fellow with the Profits and Purpose Program and as Director of the Bretton Woods II initiative. The initiative will bring together large, long-term investors including pension funds, endowments, and sovereign wealth funds with the goal of committing 1% of their assets to social impact investment and using investments as leverage to encourage good governance around the world.

Tillemann comes to New America from the U.S. State Department, where he served since 2010 as the Senior Advisor on Civil Society and Emerging Democracies to Secretary Hillary Clinton and Secretary John Kerry. Tillemann and his team worked to identify ideas that strengthened new democracies and civil society, and then brought together the talent, technology and resources needed to translate promising concepts into successful diplomacy. He and his team developed over 20 major initiatives on behalf of the President and the last two Secretaries of State.

“Large, long-term investors control $25 trillion. No one has a bigger financial stake in building a world defined by sound governance, progress, and sustainability. For these asset holders, investing in the future of humankind is not only a good idea, but also a fiduciary imperative if they want to maximize their returns over the long run,” said Tillemann.

“Tomicah’s Bretton Woods II initiative is a big idea that builds on the work of many others while also promising to forge new partnerships around something very innovative,” said Anne-Marie Slaughter, President and CEO of New America. “That’s all very much in the New America mold and we’re excited to have him aboard."

"Tomicah's experience in strengthening civil society, and his vision for Bretton Woods II -- for unlocking greater private capital for public good – are terrific additions to the Profits and Purpose team. I look forward to working together," said Georgia Levenson Keohane, Director of the Profits and Purpose Program.

Tillemann came to the State Department as a speechwriter to Secretary Clinton in March 2009 and collaborated with her on over 200 speeches. Earlier, he worked for the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, where he was the principal policy advisor on Europe and Eurasia to Committee Chairmen, Senators Joe Biden and John Kerry. He also facilitated the work of the Senate's Subcommittee on European Affairs, then chaired by Senator Barack Obama. Tillemann’s other professional experience includes work with the White House Office of Media Affairs and five U.S. Senate and Congressional campaigns. He was a reporter with Reuters New Media and hosted a commercial radio program in Denver, Colorado.

Tillemann is also a co-holder of four patents on advanced clean technologies and a co-founder and Chairman of IRIS Engines. He has helped to found and lead numerous civil society organizations, including the Lantos Foundation for Human Rights and Justice and the Student Campaign for Child Survival.

Tillemann received his B.A. magna cum laude from Yale University. He holds a Ph.D. with distinction from the School for Advanced International Studies at Johns Hopkins University (SAIS) where he also served as a graduate level instructor in American foreign policy. He has lectured at Yale and Princeton and testified repeatedly before Congress. Secretary Clinton selected him to receive the State Department’s Distinguished Honor Award in recognition of his innovative efforts to strengthen democracy and civil society worldwide.