VC hires potential Obama cabinet member

Philadelphia-based clean technology investment firm Element Partners has appointed Kathleen McGinty, the first female leader of the White House Council of Environment under President Clinton, as operating partner.

A former politician widely tipped to be the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) administrator for President elect Barack Obama, who is due to be inaugurated in less than a week, has been hired by a Philadelphian private equity firm, Element Partners. Kathleen McGinty will join Element Partners, which specialises in clean technology, as an operating partner.

The post of EPA administrator under Obama, which is a government role for the management of environmental protection, was not offered to McGinty despite the hype in the US media. McGinty’s experience as the former head of Pennsylvania’s Department of Environmental Protection and the first female leader of the White House Council of Environmental Quality under former US President Bill Clinton, contributed to the media speculation.

Element Partners’ managing partner, David Lin said in a statement that “[McGinty] is nationally recognised as one of the transformational leaders in government and she has a reputation for making things happen in partnerships between the private and public sectors.”

McGinty’s also has private sector experience having worked with Natsource, an alternative asset manager for the global emissions and renewable energy markets; Proton Energy Systems, a manufacturer of electrolysis systems; and NRGEnergy, which invests in energy generation businesses.

Philadelphia-based Element Partners was founded in 2005 and currently has $800 million funds under management. The firm specialises in private investment in products, services and technologies in the energy and power, water, environmental, materials and chemicals, and manufacturing and industrial sectors.