Wednesday, September 2, 2015


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Miller Center Lands Big Names to Lead Panel on Entrepreneurship, Job Creation

Steve Case, chairman and CEO of Revolution, and Carly Fiorina, former chairman and CEO of Hewlett-Packard, are co-chairing a new University of Virginia Miller Center commission that will focus on entrepreneurship and middle-class job creation, in partnership with the Batten Institute at U.Va.’s Darden School of Business.

The effort is part of the Milstein Symposium: Ideas for a New American Century, a five-year Miller Center initiative begun last year that is bringing together policymakers, business leaders, scholars and journalists to define and advance ideas and policies to help create middle-class jobs. In the symposium’s first year, separate commissions are studying job creation in three areas: entrepreneurship, manufacturing and infrastructure investment.

In addition to Case and Fiorina, commission members include:

  • Ross Baird, executive director, Village Capital
  • Aaron “Ronnie” Chatterji, Duke University’s Fuqua School of Business; former senior economist, White House Council of Economic Advisers
  • Amy Cosper, vice president and editor-in-chief, “Entrepreneur” magazine
  • James Douglas, former governor of Vermont, 2003-2011
  • Maya MacGuineas, president, Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget
  • Jen Medbery, founder, Kickboard
  • Brian Meece, CEO, RocketHub
  • Lenny Mendonca, entrepreneur and director emeritus, McKinsey & Company
  • Karen Mills, senior fellow, Harvard Business School; former administrator, U.S. Small Business Administration
  • Warren Thompson, president and chairman, Thompson Hospitality Services

The Batten Institute’s Sean D. Carr and Michael Lenox will serve as the commission’s lead scholars.

“The promise of America lies in the strength of our middle class and the ingenuity of our entrepreneurs,” said Case, co-founder of AOL and current chairman and CEO of the investment firm Revolution. “Our mission is to develop and advance policies that will encourage a resurgence of American entrepreneurship and focus attention on unlocking the potential of our vibrant startup economy to support large numbers of middle-class jobs. I look forward to working with Carly and the distinguished members of this commission to generate actionable proposals that will restart entrepreneurship as a provider and guarantor of the American Dream for future generations.”  

Fiorina said, “Entrepreneurs built America and the American middle class. We need to encourage the creation, and sustain the success, of small and new businesses everywhere so that all Americans can prosper.”

Commission members met May 12 and 13 in Washington to address several questions, including:

  • What type of entrepreneurial activity has been successful in generating stable, middle-class employment? What are the companies and sectors that can create middle-class jobs?
  • What are the new and emerging technologies that will reduce entry barriers for middle-class entrepreneurs – and how can we expand access to those technologies?
  • What are the most effective ways to educate various populations for middle-class employment in entrepreneurial ventures and for the middle-class to start new ventures?
  • What public (i.e., local, state, and federal) and private (i.e., corporate, non-profit, foundation) policy levers are available to increase middle-class entrepreneurship?
  • What opportunities can we give to middle-class individuals to become entrepreneurs? How do we remove the barriers that prevent entrepreneurs from creating middle-class jobs?

The Milstein Symposium was created by the Miller Center and Howard P. Milstein, a businessman, entrepreneur, civic leader and philanthropist. Support for the program is provided through the Howard and Abby Milstein Foundation and Emigrant Bank.

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