Andreessen Horowitz taps new adviser, and we’ll bet you didn’t see this one coming

Andreessen Horowitz, the popular new kid in the world of venture capital, last year named Lawrence Summers — the former U.S. Treasury Secretary, Harvard president and fictionalized “Social Network” stooge — as a part-time “special advisor.”  Whatever that really means, it must have worked out well for them, because on Wednesday, the firm named its second special advisor: Former Washington DC mayor Adrian Fenty.

Fenty may not be a household name like Summers (I hear his cameo in “The Social Network” wound up on the cutting-room floor), but during his tenure as mayor from 2007-2011, he apparently earned a reputation as an education reformer. Andreessen partner Margit Wennmachers credited Fenty for closing down some troubled schools and boosting SAT scores. He met firm co-founder Marc Andreessen through his work with Oakland-based education nonprofit College Track.

Wennmachers said Fenty will help the firm’s portfolio companies navigate opportunities in fields like education and government. Fenty, a 41-year-old lawyer, called Andressen Horowitz “the fastest-growing, most innovative VC firm in the country.” He’ll remain based in D.C. but expects to spend about half his time in Silicon Valley, racking up serious frequent flyer miles.


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