Gary Edson headshot

Gary Edson


Gary Edson is a White House veteran, non-profit executive, and business entrepreneur.

He is President of the COVID Collaborative and a principal of Civic Enterprises, a bipartisan ideas company that partners with think tanks, foundations, nonprofits, and corporations to advance solutions to key domestic and international challenges. Major initiatives include expanding national service, increasing civic engagement, protecting oceans, and ending malaria deaths.

In government, Edson served as Deputy National Security Advisor and Deputy National Economic Advisor to President George W. Bush. He established the ground-breaking Millennium Challenge Corporation to fight global poverty; co-led the launch of the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR), then the largest commitment ever by any nation to combat a single disease; coordinated the crackdown on terrorist finance after 9/11; oversaw the response to financial crises in Latin America and elsewhere; and launched initiatives on global peacekeeping, nuclear nonproliferation, human trafficking, and neglected tropical diseases.

Edson was also President Bush’s chief negotiator for summits of G7/8, Latin American, EU, and Asia-Pacific leaders. He simultaneously served as deputy to Special Presidential Envoy and former Secretary of State James A. Baker, III, in successfully forging an unprecedented international agreement to forgive Iraq’s $120B debt. Earlier in his government career, Edson served as General Counsel to the U.S. Trade Representative, and as Special Assistant to the U.S. Deputy Secretary of State.

In the non-profit sector, Edson served most recently as CEO of the Global Development Incubator, and as Acting CEO of Pink Ribbon Red Ribbon (now the Partnership to End AIDS and Cervical Cancer), overseeing the development of an innovative strategy to end cervical cancer deaths among HIV-positive women in Africa within a generation. He previously served as President of Conservation International, and was CEO of the Clinton Bush Haiti Fund, helping Haiti rebuild after the devastating 2010 earthquake.

Edson’s business experience has focused on private equity. He is an affiliate partner of Lindsay Goldberg LLC, and an Advisor at Total Impact Capital, a merchant bank for impact investment. He was previously President of ECG, Inc., a closely-held investment firm; Vice President of Equity Group Investments; and Chairman of PAR Systems, Inc., a provider of intelligent robotic systems. He was also Managing Director of Baker & McKenzie Policy & Compliance Consulting, and a Managing Director of Stonebridge International (now the Albright Stonebridge Group).

Edson earned a B.A. with distinction and honors in anthropology from Stanford University, and J.D. and M.B.A. degrees from the University of Chicago. He was a Henry Luce Scholar, working for The Japan Times in Tokyo.

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