Adam Albright Adam Albright March 22, 2012

Private Investor

Left-of-Center Donor

Founder, ARIA Foundation

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Adam Albright is a private investor that used his wealth to fund left-of-center environmentalist organizations. He founded and principally funds the environmentalist grantmaking ARIA Foundation and served on the board of directors of the Natural Resources Defense Council, Rocky Mountain Institute, and Rainforest Alliance. According to the Federal Elections Commission, between 2000 and 2012 he donated over $30,000 to left-of-center political committees and candidates. 1

ARIA Foundation

In 1993, Albright founded the ARIA Foundation to make grants to environmentalist organizations and causes. 2 He and his wife Rachel are the principal funders of the foundation, as of 2015. 3

In recent years, ARIA Foundation has made grants to Natural Resources Defense Council, Rocky Mountain Institute, PCI Media Impact, Drug Policy Alliance, Global Fund for Women, Astraea Foundation, Equal Justice Initiative, and Institute for Sustainable Communities, among other left-of-center organizations. 4

The ARIA Foundation was criticized for having invested in oil and gas companies such as Chevron, Halliburton, Texaco, Canadian Natural Resources, and Noble Corp Transocean Ltd. 5

Environmentalist Groups

The Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) counted Albright as one of its most involved members for decades. Albright served on the board of directors from 1985 to 2015 and held the roles of vice chair and chair of the development, nominating, and program committees. 6 While on the board he wrote a blog opposing the use of oil sands. 7

Albright sat on the board of directors and board of trustees of the environmentalist group Rocky Mountain Institute (RMI). 8 9 During 2006-2007, Albright contributed over $100,000 to RMI. 10 RMI advocates for America’s Pledge, an advocacy campaign with former Mayor of New York Michael Bloomberg and former California Governor Jerry Brown (D) which encourages U.S. states and cities to pledge to reduce their carbon emissions consistent with benchmarks set forward in the Paris Climate Agreement. 11

Albright signed onto multiple letters from Environmental Entrepreneurs (E2), a partner of the NRDC. One letter supported increasing the gas tax in Massachusetts and increasing it every year based on inflation. 12 In 2011, he signed onto a letter calling for federal government intervention in development of energy efficient technology. 13 Another letter supported the Obama administration’s Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) implementing Carbon Pollution Standards on new power plants and even advocated expanding the standards to cover existing power plants. 14

Albright is a former board member of the environmentalist group Rainforest Alliance. Albright continues to fund the Rainforest Alliance giving in the six figures in 2017. 15 Other left-wing foundations giving in excess of $100,000 to the Rainforest Alliance include the Ford Foundation, David and Lucile Packard Foundation, Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation, and W.K. Kellogg Foundation. 16

Political Donations

Albright has contributed tens of thousands to Democratic candidates and left-of-center political action committees according to the Federal Elections Commission. In 2000, he gave $10,000 to the Democratic National Committee. During the 2004 election, he donated $2,000 to the Presidential campaign of former Vermont Gov. Howard Dean (D) and another $2,000 to the campaign of Democratic nominee John Kerry. He also gave $1,000 to Democracy for America, a group founded by Dean with the goal of pushing the Democratic Party to the left. 17 In 2007, Albright donated $5,000 to both the League of Conservation Voters Fund and the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee. 18

Albright supported both of Barack Obama’s presidential campaigns, donating $4,600 in 2008 and $2,000 in 2012. Albright donated $1,000 Mark Schauer’s (D-MI) campaign for Congress in 2008. In 2010, Albright gave $1,000 to congressional candidate Tommy Sowers (D-MO). Albright aided Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) in her first senate bid in 2012 through $2,500 in donations. 19


  1. Individual Contributions from Adam Albright (2000-2012). Information from the Federal Election Commission.
  2. “Board.” Pcimedia. Accessed April 8, 2019.
  3. ARIA Foundation, Return of a Private Foundation (IRS Form 990-PF), 2015, Schedule B
  4. Data compiled by subscription service, a project of Metasoft Systems, Inc., from forms filed with the IRS. Queries conducted April 16, 2019.
  5. Rogers, Jerry. “National Resources Defense Council Members Profit from Fossil Fuel Investments. Does Leo Know?” PJ Media. October 31, 2014. Accessed April 8, 2019.
  6. “Who We Are.” Central Oregon LandWatch. Accessed April 10, 2019.
  7. Casey-Lefkowitz, Susan. “Tar Sands Leave Us Aghast and Committed to Clean Energy Path.” NRDC. June 22, 2010. Accessed April 10, 2019.
  8. “Rocky Mountain Institute 2003-2004 Annual Report.” RMI. Accessed April 10, 2019.
  9. “Rocky Mountain Institute 2006-2007 Annual Report.” RMI. Accessed April 10, 2019.
  10. “Rocky Mountain Institute 2006-2007 Annual Report.” RMI. Accessed April 10, 2019.
  11. “America’s Pledge.” Rocky Mountain Institute. Accessed April 10, 2019.
  12. “A Comprehensive Transportation Solution for Massachusetts.” Environmental Entrepreneurs:. January 2, 2009. Accessed April 8, 2019.
  13. Environmental Entrepreneurs. February 14, 2011. Accessed April 8, 2019.
  14. “Attn: Docket ID No. EPA-HQ-OAR-2011-0660.” E2. April 10, 2012. Accessed April 8, 2019.
  15. “We Are The Rainforest Alliance.” Rainforest Alliance. Accessed April 8, 2019.
  16. “We Are The Rainforest Alliance.” Rainforest Alliance. Accessed April 8, 2019.
  17. “About Democracy for America.” Democracy for America. Accessed April 8, 2019.
  18. “Donors | Adam Albright.” Center for Responsive Politics. Accessed April 16, 2019. albright&type=donors.
  19. “Donors | Adam Albright.” Center for Responsive Politics. Accessed April 16, 2019. albright&type=donors.
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