U.S. Senate confirms OPIC’s new leadership
At the end of last week, the U.S. Senate confirmed Ray Washburne and David Bohigian to be, respectively, the President & CEO and the Executive Vice President of the U.S. Government’s development finance institution, OPIC.
Both were nominated for the roles by President Trump in late June, a move that was interpreted by many that the future of the agency, which the Trump administration had indicated it wanted to be wound down, would now be safer. Both are supporters of the President, and in Washburne’s case, someone the President considered for a cabinet position. The thinking was that the President would not appoint such a prominent figure to a post overseeing the dismantling of an agency.
Washburne, who is a Texas-based investor and businessman, has longtime connections to the Republican Party, having served as the party’s national finance chairman as well as, more recently, being Vice Chair of the Trump Victory Committee and chairing the new administration’s commerce transition team once the President had been elected. A businessman of long standing, Washburne was most recently the President & CEO of Charter Holdings, a private real estate investment company. He is also the co-founder and owner of M Crowd Restaurant Group which owns and operates a number of branded restaurant chains.
David Bohigian served in several capacities during a prior Republican administration when he worked for the Department of Commerce during George W. Bush’s presidency between 2005 and 2009. In his statement to the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, he summarized his private sector background, indicating how he would bring his experience to bear to the benefit of the agency.
“I have helped manage some of the world’s most innovative financial services firms in a career that has spanned venture capital, private equity, hedge funds, and investment banking. Across these disciplines, I have learned to turn concepts into companies, analyze business prospects, structure projects, develop global supply chains, and evaluate microeconomic and macroeconomic developments. I believe these experiences have prepared me well to help guide the important work ahead,”
Most recently, he was the Managing Director of Pluribus Ventures, advising financial services firms and growth companies. He was also part of the core management team of Bridgewater Associates, the world’s largest manager of private capital and founded E2 Capital Partners, which developed new financing models for energy efficiency projects.
Washburne replaces Elizabeth Littlefield, an Obama appointee, who has led the development finance institution for almost 8 years.