Andreessen Horowitz hires former Washington DC mayor as advisor

SAN FRANCISCO, Sept 26 Wed Sep 26, 2012 5:59pm EDT

SAN FRANCISCO, Sept 26 (Reuters) - One of Silicon Valley's hottest venture-capital firms, Andreessen Horowitz, is bringing a little more government expertise to its operations after hiring former Washington D.C. Mayor Adrian Fenty.

Fenty, who served as mayor from 2007-2011, is joining Andreessen as a part-time special advisor, he and the firm said.

Portfolio companies will count on Fenty for his expertise in navigating local city halls, as well as federal and state governments, said partner Margit Wennmachers.

"Countless entrepreneurs operating in cities across the country want to know: 'What is the regulatory environment?' 'What is the best business case?'" she said in a telephone interview.

"Having run a U.S. city, I can advise with insight," Fenty said.

He plans to participate in the firm's deal reviews and split his time between Washington and Silicon Valley, he added.

Fenty met firm co-founder Marc Andreessen earlier this year through his work as a board member of College Track, a non-profit organization that Andreessen and his wife Laura Arrillaga are involved in. College Track's board chairman is Laurene Powell, the widow of Apple Inc co-founder Steve Jobs.

As mayor, Fenty launched an initiative to improve public schools in Washington. His term saw major improvements in test scores and graduation rates.

Since leaving office, Fenty has served as an advisor to a number of mid-Atlantic technology companies, such as language-learning software business Rosetta Stone.

At Andreessen, he joins former Treasury Secretary Larry Summers, who became a special advisor to the firm last year.

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