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White House Author

David Wilkinson

Director of the White House Office of Social Innovation and Civic Participation

David Wilkinson is the Director of the White House Office of Social Innovation and Civic Participation. He leads White House efforts to identify and scale better, more effective social solutions, advancing Presidential priorities that strengthen communities and enable upward economic mobility. This involves identifying programs that work better through use of data and evidence as well as scaling what works through smarter use of federal resources and cross-sector collaboration.

Mr. Wilkinson leads an Office of Social Innovation that supports the development and launch of outcomes-focused solutions across a range of domestic policy priorities from education and job growth to economic development and healthy communities. In addition, Mr. Wilkinson coordinates efforts to attract and deploy America’s talent, from national service and volunteerism to employing better management strategy, in support of effective community solutions.

Mr. Wilkinson draws from an extensive background in impact finance, social entrepreneurship, evidence-based policy and organization management. He previously served the White House as Senior Policy Advisor for Social Finance and Innovation, assigned to the Office of Social Innovation and the White House Council on Environmental Quality. For the Office of Social Innovation, he led a range of initiatives including Pay for Success, evidence-based policy, and impact finance. At CEQ, Mr. Wilkinson served as the lead for green finance. His work spanned CEQ’s portfolio, with a focus on market development, financial innovation and ladders to economic opportunity as they connect to infrastructure, water resources, climate resilience and renewable energy. Mr. Wilkinson currently serves as the US Government Observer to the Global Social Impact Investment Steering Group, the successor to the G8 Social Impact Investment Taskforce.

Prior to his role at the White House, Mr. Wilkinson served as Executive Director of City First Enterprises, a federally regulated nonprofit bank holding company and incubator of social finance solutions. At City First, Mr. Wilkinson designed and directed successful new initiatives in community development finance, helping to create jobs and stabilize vulnerable communities. He led the development, financial structuring and launch of innovative solutions in impact investing, affordable housing and community facilities finance, small business and nonprofit lending, and community crowdfunding.

Mr. Wilkinson previously co-founded and helped lead a successful effort to launch a start-up community development bank in New Haven, CT. He also served as Executive Director of Common Cause New Jersey, an 8,000-member organization that fostered local civic engagement, helping citizens pass laws in over 100 municipalities and launching a new high school civics curriculum.

Mr. Wilkinson has served on the board of the City First Foundation where he was a founding director. He was selected by Next American City Magazine as a member of its Next American Vanguard, an annual “40 under 40” award honoring urban innovators. Mr. Wilkinson served as a Jane Addams Fellow at Indiana University’s Lilly Family School on Philanthropy. He is a graduate of the University of Virginia and Yale Law School.

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