Jun 30, 2021 - Politics & Policy

Scoop: Wall Street vet leaving Kerry's climate team

Mark Gallogly (right) is seen sitting with former Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner.

Mark Gallogly (right) sits with former Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner at the White House in November 2009. Photo: Alex Wong/Getty Images

Mark Gallogly, a private-equity titan who's been working for John Kerry to line up private-sector financing to combat climate change and serve as a liaison to the business community, is leaving the administration, Axios has learned.

The big picture: Gallogly is departing almost as quietly as he joined, with one difference: Kerry, President Biden's special envoy for climate, is publicly acknowledging his role — and his contributions.

  • “When I was appointed to this role, Mark was among the first people I called on to join the effort,” Kerry said in a statement to Axios.
  • “In recent months, he’s brought his considerable private-sector experience, financial acumen and climate activism to bear in facilitating productive conversations with the financial institutions and companies that will be key to implementing the ambitious climate solutions we need.”
  • Gallogly retired in 2020 from Centerbridge Partners, a private-equity firm he co-founded after 16 years at Blackstone. He never was expected to stay at the State Department long-term. His last day was Wednesday.

Why it matters: Gallogly’s departure is a sign Kerry's international climate office is past its startup phase and has established crucial inroads with Wall Street, ahead of the United Nations Climate Change Conference in Glasgow in November.

  • Gallogly's arrival at State, first reported by Axios in March, caused consternation among progressives, who questioned why Kerry — a former secretary of State and senator — was working with someone with a background in private equity.
  • But Kerry has made it clear he thinks private-sector financing is vital to reducing carbon emissions by funding clean technologies.
  • In April, the White House touted pledges from JPMorgan Chase and Citigroup to steer trillions of dollars into sustainability efforts.

Go deeper: As the White House works to get its infrastructure proposals through Congress, it's highlighting the green-energy provisions in the $579 billion bipartisan deal.

  • It's also telegraphing that the president has much more planned for climate.
  • The White House plans to use the filibuster-proof budget reconciliation process to mandate that power companies adopt a “clean-energy standard,” Axios reported Tuesday.
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