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.