President & CEO of the Center for American Progress Action Fund, Counselor to the Center for American Progress
Expertise: Congress, Middle East and Africa, conflict resolution, energy independence and health care policy
Tom Perriello is President and CEO of Center for American Progress Action Fund and Counselor for Policy to the Center for American Progress. Prior to joining American Progress, he served in the U.S. House of Representatives, representing Central and Southern Virginia. Before entering politics, he worked as a conflict analyst and an advocate on environmental and poverty issues.
During the 111th Congress, Perriello proudly defended his votes for health care reform, energy independence, and the Recovery, Lilly Ledbetter, and DREAM Acts. Time magazine named Perriello as part of their “40 under 40” series in 2010, citing his record as an “unapologetic progressive.”
Perriello was a founding member of the House Majority Leader’s National Security Working Group and received an A+ rating from the Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans Association—one of fewer than 20 members of the House or Senate to do so—for his work to expand GI bill benefits to cover vocational training, require pre- and post-service PTSD screening, and protect returning heroes from foreclosure. After leaving office in January 2011, Tom conducted and published research on the Arab Spring.
Before serving in Congress, Perriello managed teams working on conflict resolution and democratic transitions in Africa, Afghanistan, and other regions. He also served as special advisor and acting spokesperson to the International Prosecutor of the Special Court for Sierra Leone from the tribunal’s launch through the diplomatic showdown that forced Liberian dictator Charles Taylor from power.
Perriello supported a resurgence of moderate and progressive faith leaders advocating on issues of poverty, economic fairness, tolerance, and environmental stewardship. He helped to launch Faith in Public Life, FaithfulAmerica.org, Catholics in Alliance for the Common Good, and Catholics United. He also has advised and served on the boards of organizations dedicated to preserving Social Security and Medicare, developing grassroots legal empowerment, and promoting youth civic participation. Previously, he has taught courses on Justice and Security at the University of Virginia Law School and the University of Sierra Leone.
Perriello has been profiled in The New Yorker, Slate, American Prospect, and, most importantly, “The Colbert Report.” His writings have appeared in The Yale Law Report, The Atlantic, CNN, Politico, and The Nation. Perriello is a graduate of Yale University and the Yale Law School.