Center for American Progress

RELEASE: The Center for American Progress Action Fund Announces New Leadership
Press Release

RELEASE: The Center for American Progress Action Fund Announces New Leadership

Press Contacts

  • Andrea Purse

The Center for American Progress Action Fund—the advocacy arm of the nation’s leading progressive think tank, the Center for American Progress—is ramping up its activities to define our country’s ongoing policy debate by announcing a new leadership team that will oversee CAP Action’s robust policy, research, news gathering, and communications efforts. Former Congressman Tom Perriello (D-VA) will become the new President and CEO of CAP Action and Counselor for Policy at CAP. Tara McGuinness will join Perriello as Senior Vice President for CAP Action and Senior Vice President for Communications at CAP.

"Tom has a long record of promoting progressive ideas and making real change, and we are excited to bring his experience and integrity to American Progress in his leadership role of the Center for American Progress Action Fund as we continue to play an important role in shaping the nation’s policy debates," said Neera Tanden, President of the Center for American Progress.

"This is an incredible team capable of creating and driving a new generation of progressive ideas," said John Podesta, Chairman of the Center for American Progress Action Fund Board of Directors.

"I am excited for this opportunity to join an institution that fosters the combination of big ideas and concrete action needed to face today’s economic, environmental, and security challenges," said Perriello. "This is a critical moment for our country to return to values of basic fairness and opportunity that are bigger than any election cycle. The Center for American Progress Action Fund is central to generating innovative policy ideas and commonsense communication that can raise the level of policy debates. "

McGuinness most recently served as Vice President and Director of the Think Progress War Room at the Center for American Progress Action Fund, playing a key role in the growth of the ThinkProgress.org news room and war room and building a range of legislative issue portfolios at CAP Action.

"Tara has played a critical role in developing the core strategy of CAP Action’s work and we are excited that in her new capacity she will bring a new generation of leadership to CAP Action and will apply her energy and focus to CAP’s idea generation," said Tanden.

Perriello served as the representative of Virginia’s 5th congressional district from 2009 until 2011, where he served on the Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure, the Committee on Veterans’ Affairs, and on the Majority Leader’s National Security Working Group. As a member of Congress Tom took on important fights to improve our economy and our health care system, protect the global environment, and make higher education more affordable. He was also one of the few members of Congress to receive an A+ rating from the Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America Action.

Perriello, who was named to the "40 Under 40" most influential people in Washington for 2010 by Time magazine, is no stranger to innovation in the nonprofit world. Tom has co-founded and managed a half-dozen nonprofits including Res Publica, Catholics in Alliance for the Common Good, Faith in Public Life, and DarfurGenocide.org.

McGuinness is the architect of several well-known communications efforts including the 2008 independent research effort Progressive Accountability and Americans Against Escalation in Iraq—the successful 2006 legislative effort to end the war in Iraq. McGuinness is a communications veteran of House, Senate, and issue campaigns. She also served in the U.S. House of Representatives for Rep. Edward Markey (D-MA) and as a press secretary on John Kerry’s presidential campaign.

The pair also brings a breadth of international experience to bear. Perriello worked in the international arena to advance human rights and democracy, most notably in West Africa, Darfur, Afghanistan, and the Middle East, including extensive research and analysis relating to Arab Spring since leaving office in January. McGuinness began her career working on programs for the National Democratic Institute for International Affairs, serving in Nepal, Bangladesh, Ethiopia, and Morocco.

CAP Action, the advocacy arm of the Center for American Progress, continues to expand its reporting and communications efforts. ThinkProgress.org, one of the nation’s most-read political news sites, occupies a newsroom of over 20 reporters and receives over 3 million unique visitors every month. The ThinkProgress.org War Room acts as a permanent campaign that works to advance progressive issues across the spectrum from equality to climate change and is ramping up efforts to expand a public dialogue about making America’s economy work for all Americans.

###