Person

Arkadi Gerney

Occupation:

Former Special Advisor, Michael Bloomberg

Born:

July 2, 1974

Occupation:

Lobbyist and political activist

Arkadi Gerney is the founder and executive director of the Hub Project, a left-of-center coalition-building media strategy group that services national and local advocacy campaigns. [1]

Prior to founding the Hub Project, Gerney was a senior fellow at the left-of-center Center for American Progress (CAP) and managed former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s Mayors Against Illegal Guns, a gun control coalition.

Early Life and Education

Arkadi Gerney was born on July 2, 1974 in New York City to Brigitte and Arkadi Gerney. [2] His mother was the daughter of a member of the Liechtenstein Parliament and his father was a trade representative for two Swiss steel companies. The couple immigrated to America, where Arkadi and his two siblings were born. [3]

In 1995, Gerney attended Harvard University, and in 1998, he graduated with a bachelor’s degree in government. In 2002, he graduated from Harvard Law School. [4]

Career

Gerney began his career as an associate at WilmerHale, a large law firm based out of Washington, D.C. After nearly two years, Gerney left WilmerHale and worked briefly at a left-of-center PAC and at a political consulting firm that he helped found.

Gerney’s first notable position came in 2006, when he was appointed as special advisor to then-New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg. Gerney also became the city’s first deputy criminal justice coordinator. This role made Gerney the manager of Mayor Bloomberg’s Mayors Against Illegal Guns coalition, a predecessor of the left-of-center gun control lobbying organization Everytown for Gun Safety. Under Gerney’s leadership, Mayors Against Illegal Guns’ proposals to restrict gun ownership garnered support from over 600 mayors across America, and Gerney himself led undercover investigations into private weapons dealers. [5]

In 2013, Gerney accepted a senior lobbying position for OPOWER, a start-up energy efficiency software company. [6] In 2015, Gerney left to become a senior vice president of campaigns and strategy for the left-of-center Center for American Progress (CAP). At CAP, he continued his former focus on gun control, becoming one of the think tank’s most prominent voices in support of strict gun control legislation. [7] In addition to promoting gun control, Gerney organized policy teams around left-of-center court policy and public land management. [8]

The Hub Project

In 2015, Gerney founded the Hub Project, a project overseen by the Sixteen Thirty Fund, which is a funding and fiscal sponsorship nonprofit in Washington, D.C. that is managed by Arabella Advisors. [9] Gerney only announced the creation of the organization in 2017, before which the organization did not even have a website. [10] In an interview with USA Today, Gerney commented that he was taking the project “from no profile to low profile though he claimed the organization wanted to continue “to work is behind the scenes.” [11]

The Hub Project and Gerney‘s embracing of so-called ”dark money,” has been a major point of criticism for the organization. When confronted by the New York Times about The Hub Project’s use of undisclosed contributions, Gerney “displayed no ambivalence,” which the article notes is “traditionally a source of dismay for Democrats.” [12] As of May 15, 2021, the right-leaning watchdog Americans for Public Trust (APT) had filed a Federal Election Commission (FEC) complaint against the Hub Project, accusing it of being an illegal electoral financing body for Hansjorg Wyss, a Swiss national. [13]

Political Contributions

In 2021, Gerney made a $250 contribution to the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee (DSCC). [14]

Personal Life

Gerney is married to Nancy Meakem, a fellow Harvard graduate and managing director of strategic initiatives for KIPP, a system of Washington, D.C. charter schools. [15]

References

  1. Gerney, Arkadi. “Arkadi Gerney .” LinkedIn. Accessed July 16, 2021. https://www.linkedin.com/in/arkadi-gerney-60279330/. ^
  2. “POLITICO Playbook: Biden’s Advantages Pile Up.” POLITICO, July 2, 2020. https://www.politico.com/newsletters/playbook/2020/07/02/bidens-advantages-pile-up-489702. ; Gerney, Arkadi. “Guns and My Mother.” The New Yorker, May 9, 2013. https://www.newyorker.com/news/news-desk/guns-and-my-mother. ^
  3. Roberts, Sam. “Brigitte Gerney, ‘Crane Lady’ Who Survived Collapse, Dies at 85.” The New York Times. The New York Times, June 16, 2021. https://www.nytimes.com/2021/06/16/nyregion/brigitte-gerney-dead.html. ^
  4. Gerney, Arkadi. “Arkadi Gerney .” LinkedIn. Accessed July 16, 2021. https://www.linkedin.com/in/arkadi-gerney-60279330/. ^
  5. “Who We Are.” The Hub Project, October 30, 2020. https://thehubproject.org/team/#arkadi-gerney. ^
  6. Gerney, Arkadi. “Guns and My Mother.” The New Yorker, May 9, 2013. https://www.newyorker.com/news/news-desk/guns-and-my-mother. ^
  7. “RELEASE: Arkadi Gerney to Be Named Senior Vice President of Center for American Progress Action Fund.” Center for American Progress Action. Accessed July 16, 2021. https://www.americanprogressaction.org/press/release/2014/09/11/96815/release-arkadi-gerney-to-be-named-senior-vice-president-of-center-for-american-progress-action-fund/. ; “STATEMENT: CAP’s Arkadi Gerney on Gun Provisions in House Appropriations Bill.” Center for American Progress. Accessed July 16, 2021. https://www.americanprogress.org/press/statement/2014/05/08/89366/statement-caps-arkadi-gerney-on-gun-provisions-in-house-appropriations-bill/. ^
  8. “Who We Are.” The Hub Project, October 30, 2020. https://thehubproject.org/team/#arkadi-gerney. ^
  9. Gerney, Arkadi. “Arkadi Gerney .” LinkedIn. Accessed July 16, 2021. https://www.linkedin.com/in/arkadi-gerney-60279330/. ^
  10. Gaudiano, Nicole. “Progressive Campaigns Nationwide Get a Silent Partner.” USA Today. Gannett Satellite Information Network, January 1, 2017. https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/politics/2017/01/01/progressive-campaigns-nationwide-get-silent-partner/96004224/. ^
  11. Gaudiano, Nicole. “Progressive Campaigns Nationwide Get a Silent Partner.” USA Today. Gannett Satellite Information Network, January 1, 2017. https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/politics/2017/01/01/progressive-campaigns-nationwide-get-silent-partner/96004224/. ^
  12. Burns, Alexander. “With $30 Million, Obscure Democratic Group Floods the Zone in House Races.” The New York Times. The New York Times, October 31, 2018. https://www.nytimes.com/2018/10/31/us/politics/democrats-dark-money-midterms.html. ^
  13. Americans for Public Trust: Complaint to Federal Elections Commission regarding Wyss Foundation. Filed May 15, 2021. Original URL: https://americansforpublictrust.org/document/wyss-complaint/. Archived URL: https://www.influencewatch.org/app/uploads/2021/05/Wyss-Foundation-FEC-Complaint-Americans-for-Public-Trust.-05.15.21.pdf ^
  14. “Arkadi Gerney Political Contributions .” FEC. Accessed July 16, 2021. https://www.fec.gov/data/receipts/individual-contributions/?contributor_name=Arkadi+Gerney&two_year_transaction_period=2016&two_year_transaction_period=2018&two_year_transaction_period=2020&two_year_transaction_period=2022&min_date=01%2F01%2F2021&max_date=12%2F31%2F2022. ^
  15. Meakem, Nancy. “Nancy Meakem .” Nancy Meakem LinkedIn. Accessed July 16, 2021. https://www.linkedin.com/in/nancy-meakem-43419611/. ^
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