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Jonathan Silver was named Executive Director of the U.S. Department of Energy’s Loan Programs Office in November 2009. Mr. Silver leads the Obama Administration’s $70 billion dollar investment program in alternative energy, financing a wide range of solar, wind, geothermal, biofuels, fossil and nuclear energy projects. He also heads the government’s $20 billion investment program in advanced automotive technology. As Executive Director, Mr. Silver is responsible for the agency’s strategic direction and oversees all of its transactions. He frequently represents the agency before Congress and in public forums. In 2010, Mr. Silver was named one of the country’s top ten “influencers” in the green tech industry. Transactions, overseen by Mr. Silver have twice been named “Deal of the Year and once nominated for “Deal of the Decade” by leading trade publications.
Under Mr. Silver’s leadership, the Loan Programs Office has grown to become the largest project finance effort in the United States. Since Mr. Silver took office, the agency has committed over $40 billion in 42 clean energy projects with total project costs of over $63 billion. Cumulatively, these projects create or save over 66,288 jobs across 38 states and avoid over 38 million metric tons of carbon dioxide, equivalent to taking over 4.5 million vehicles off the road or about as many vehicles as in the state of Michigan. The program’s 23 generation projects produce over 32 million megawatt hours, enough to power nearly 3 million homes.
Among the many transactions the Loan Programs Office has underwritten, the deal teams he leads have committed financing for the world’s largest wind farm; two of the of the world’s largest solar thermal power plants; the nation’s first nuclear power plant in three decades; several large geothermal projects; one of the country’s first commercial-scale cellulosic ethanol plants; and significant transmission investments and three successful electric vehicle launches.
Prior to leading the Loan Programs Office, Mr. Silver was co-founder and a Managing Director of Core Capital Partners, a successful early-stage investor in alternative energy technology, advanced manufacturing, telecommunications and software. Earlier, Mr. Silver was a Managing Director and the Chief Operating Officer of Tiger Management, one of the country’s largest and most successful hedge funds. While at Tiger, assets grew from $400 million to over $8 billion. He has also held senior operating positions in several media companies and began his business career in the Financial Institutions Group at McKinsey and Company, a global management consulting firm.
Mr. Silver has served as a policy advisor to four U.S. Cabinet Secretaries— Energy, Commerce, Interior and Treasury. While at the Commerce Department, Mr. Silver was a member of the team that negotiated the first clean car agreement with the nation’s auto manufacturers. In addition, he has served on, or chaired, numerous corporate and non-profit boards. His philanthropic activity includes membership on the boards of the Federal City Council (business organization), WETA (public television), American Forests (conservation), Arena Stage (theater arts) and a stint as a special advisor to the Chancellor of the DC public schools.
An honors graduate of Harvard University, Mr. Silver did graduate work at the Institute of Political Studies in Paris and the Graduate Institute of International Studies in Geneva. He has received both Fulbright and Rotary Graduate Fellowships.
Mr. Silver is married and lives with his wife and two children in Washington, DC.