Announced on the one-year anniversary of the White House’s launch of the Economic Opportunity Coalition
NEW YORK | July 28, 2023 ― The Rockefeller Foundation announced today the hiring of Christopher Weaver to lead its Economic Opportunity Coalition (EOC), a historic public, private collaboration to catalyze and align public and private investments to address economic disparities and accelerate economic opportunities in underserved communities across the United States. Mr. Weaver, who recently served as senior fellow for U.S. Senator Mark R. Warner (D-VA), was announced on the one-year anniversary of the White House’s launch of the EOC. The Rockefeller Foundation, which has already provided $10 million towards the effort, will also incubate the EOC with the goal of spinning it out as an independent entity.
Since Vice President Kamala Harris announced the EOC last year, dozens of corporations and foundations have committed to catalyzing private investments that both address disparities and accelerate inclusive economic opportunity, including Ariel Investments, Bank of America, BMO financial, BNY Mellon, Capital One, Citi, Discover, Fidelity, Ford Foundation, Goldman Sachs, Google, H&R Block, Intercontinental Exchange, Key Bank, Kresge Foundation, Mastercard, McDonald’s, McKinsey & Company, Micron, Momentus Capital, Moody’s, Netflix, Next Street, PayPal, PNC, The Rockefeller Foundation, TIAA, Upstart, and Wells Fargo.
During its first year and prior to its incubation at The Rockefeller Foundation, the EOC’s members have collectively announced:
- Commitments of more than $1 billion into community lenders nationwide from Bank of America, BNY Mellon, Citi, KeyBank, Mastercard, Micron, McKinsey, Moody’s, Next Street, PayPal, Upstart, TIAA, and Wells Fargo.
- Helping five million small businesses access capital, go digital, and grow networks, with an intentional focus on women and entrepreneurs of color as result of commitments from Mastercard Strive, which also announced a partnership with Next Street and New York City to launch a digital concierge for small businesses.
- Launching a Semiconductor Career Certificates Program, in partnership with Google and Micron, to open pathways for students, with a focus on reaching students of color. It aims to help connect students with tens of thousands of new, highly paid technical and operational jobs anticipated to be created through the U.S. government’s plans to invest in domestic memory manufacturing.
“Every working person in the United States should be able to meet their family’s financial needs and have a path to a better future,” said Dr. Rajiv J. Shah, President of The Rockefeller Foundation. “We are thrilled for the opportunity to continue to invest in the Economic Opportunity Coalition here at The Rockefeller Foundation, and bringing Chris Weaver is a critical step to help the EOC move from groundbreaking idea into a catalytic independent entity.”
Mr. Weaver joins The Rockefeller Foundation as the EOC’s first Executive Director after serving as senior fellow to Senator Warner. He previously served seven years at the U.S. Department of Treasury, most recently as Director of the Office of Community Economic Development. In this role, Mr. Weaver provided policy advice on issues related to small business, affordable housing, and community development and managed the Emergency Capital Investment Program, which made a $9-billion investment in community lenders and minority depository institutions. In 2022, U.S. Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen presented Mr. Weaver with the Salmon Chase award for innovative and decisive service to the Department. His nearly two decades of public service also includes serving as Senior Advisor to the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) Administrator and Assistant Attorney General in D.C. Office of the Attorney General, among other roles. Mr. Weaver holds a Bachelor’s degree from Arizona State University College of Business, Juris Doctorate from Howard University School of Law, and Master’s degree from the London School of Economics and Political Science.
“I am honored to join The Rockefeller Foundation at this transformational and long overdue moment in our nation’s history,” said Mr. Weaver. “I look forward to working with the Foundation team and all EOC members and partners, both inside and outside of government, to expand opportunity in the communities that need it most.”
Statements of Support:
“Chris Weaver’s expertise and experience will position him well at the helm of the Economic Opportunity Coalition. I congratulate him on this next step, and look forward to working with him and the rest of the EOC to advance efforts to promote economic growth in rural and underserved communities in Idaho and across the country.” ─ U.S. Senator Mike Crapo (R-Idaho)
“While we are sad to lose his experience and expertise in the Senate, there is no one better positioned to spearhead this critical initiative than Chris Weaver. I look forward to continuing to work with him and the EOC to invest in communities of color and other financially underserved areas.” ─ U.S. Senator Mark R. Warner (D-VA)
“The public, private, and social sectors have key roles to play in addressing longstanding economic disparities and unlocking the economic potential of communities of color, low-income neighborhoods, rural areas, and other historically underserved groups. With dedicated leadership at its helm, the work of the Economic Opportunity Coalition will continue to help this ecosystem to further our impact by deploying our resources side-by-side and more collaboratively.” ─ U.S. Deputy Secretary of the Treasury Wally Adeyemo.
“From the U.S. Department of the Treasury to the U.S. Senate, Chris Weaver consistently supported Minority Depository Institutions (MDIs) and underserved communities during the most critical times. We look forward to him continuing his transformative work at the Economic Opportunity Coalition during such an unprecedented moment where minority and community banks are at the center of conversation on economic disparity.” ─ Nicole A. Elam, President and CEO of National Bankers Association
“Since the launch of the EOC last year, great strides have been made toward fulfilling the coalition’s promise of reducing economic disparities and driving opportunities for underserved communities. I’m delighted that Chris Weaver will be leading the EOC into its next phase and know his impressive background in economic public policy will be a catalyst for the coalition’s future work.” ─ Michael Roth, Co-CEO of Next Street, which co-organized the 2022 EOC launch
About The Rockefeller Foundation
The Rockefeller Foundation is a pioneering philanthropy built on collaborative partnerships at the frontiers of science, technology, and innovation that enable individuals, families, and communities to flourish. We make big bets to promote the well-being of humanity and make opportunity universal and sustainable. Our focus is on scaling renewable energy for all, stimulating economic mobility, and ensuring equitable access to health care and nutritious food. For more information, sign up for our newsletter at www.rockefellerfoundation.org and follow us on Twitter @RockefellerFdn.
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