Gary Edson is a White House veteran, non-profit executive, and business entrepreneur.He is President of More Perfect, an initiative to advance key Sustainable Democracy Goals to align efforts and galvanize collective action for democratic renewal. Edson is also President of the COVID Collaborative, a national assembly of leading experts and institutions across health, education, and the economy united to turn the tide on the pandemic at home and abroad, and bolster future pandemic preparedness.
In government, Edson served as Deputy National Security Advisor and Deputy National Economic Advisor to President George W. Bush. He co-led development of the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR), the largest commitment ever by any nation to combat a single disease; conceived and established the ground-breaking Millennium Challenge Corporation to fight global poverty; coordinated the crackdown on terrorist finance after 9/11; oversaw the response to financial crises in Latin America and elsewhere; and guided initiatives on global peacekeeping, human trafficking, and nonproliferation.
Edson was the president’s chief negotiator for summits of G7/G8, Latin American, EU, and Asia-Pacific leaders. He also served as deputy to Special Presidential Envoy and former Secretary of State James A. Baker, III, in successfully forging an unprecedented international agreement to forgive Iraq’s $120B debt.
Earlier in his government career, Edson served as General Counsel to the U.S. Trade Representative, and as Special Assistant to the U.S. Deputy Secretary of State.
In the non-profit sector, Edson was CEO of the Clinton Bush Haiti Fund, helping Haiti rebuild after the devastating 2010 earthquake. He subsequently served as President of Conservation International, and as Acting CEO of Pink Ribbon Red Ribbon (now the Partnership to End AIDS and Cervical Cancer), overseeing the development of an innovative strategy to end cervical cancer deaths among HIV-positive women in Africa.
Edson’s business experience has focused on private equity. He is an affiliate partner of Lindsay Goldberg LLC, a New York-based firm with $17B under management, and was previously Vice President of Equity Group Investments and Chairman of PAR Systems, Inc., a provider of intelligent robotic systems. He also was Managing Director of Baker & McKenzie Policy and Compliance Consulting, and a Managing Director of Stonebridge International (now the Albright Stonebridge Group).
Edson earned a B.A. with distinction and honors in anthropology from Stanford University, and J.D. and M.B.A. degrees from the University of Chicago. He was a Henry Luce Scholar, working for The Japan Times in Tokyo.