Letter From the CEO

One seldom hears a big idea expressed so simply: bad government is bad for business. Most people agree that our government is broken, but not everyone realizes how this dysfunction harms business interests and drags down our economy.

For some, this problem seems intractable. But for us, it’s an opportunity for new leadership. We started DisruptDC to leverage the business community’s energy in an effort to upgrade our government and elections — thereby creating the conditions for a more robust, innovative, and prosperous economy.

In 1997, when I became president of the business-led Committee for Economic Development, I saw first hand how a respected, nonpartisan business voice for change made an enormous difference. We were recognized for our work on issues ranging from education to budget and fiscal policy, but one of my proudest accomplishments is the role that our business alliance played in the Bipartisan Campaign Finance Reform Act of 2002 (McCain-Feingold).

While business is often motivated by the drive for quarterly profits, the best business minds know the importance of investing in the future. I’ve had the privilege to work with courageous men and women leading excellent companies who have spoken out for strong democratic institutions, vibrant and healthy communities, and good schools at every level.

In short, America’s business leaders can be an important force for positive change.

While many business leaders understand and embrace change, they also know that it’s rarely easy — and that it seldom starts from within. External drivers are needed, and that pressure is precisely what DisruptDC intends to build.

My own experience working with business leaders convinces me that DisruptDC’s agenda of positive disruption is realistic and achievable. Elected officials and other key influencers pay close attention to American business leaders — we just need to bring them to the table.

We are blessed to know so many business leaders who put country ahead of political party. They would rather compete in the marketplace than in the political arena. They appreciate that “crony capitalism” is a recipe for poor economic performance. And they understand that we cannot face our nation’s greatest challenges unless we upgrade our government first.

We invite business leaders from across the country to join DisruptDC and help us build a better government for all Americans.


Charles Kolb
President & CEO, DisruptDC