While most of his colleagues look at policy issues through the lens of a politician, Sen. Mark Warner uses his background in business and technology to give him a “think outside the box” approach that often sets him apart. As a businessman following graduation from Harvard Law, Warner kept looking for the next opportunity. After founding two small businesses that failed, he soon landed on the cellular telephone industry, co- founding the company that became Nextel. His business success has allowed him to invest in hundreds of start-up tech companies, further creating job opportunities.
He put his own business expertise to work while governor of Virginia from 2002-06, where he established business principles later credited with turning a $6 billion shortfall into a $1 billion surplus. At the completion of his term, Virginia was recognized as the best-managed state and the best state for business.
As senator, Warner has often carved his own path. While the Senate worked its way through complex debate over cybersecurity, Senator Warner broke the mold by fashioning an approach to data security that treats all industry sectors the same. He is a leader on issues surrounding the rise of the “on-demand” economy, pondering what the modern social contract should look like in a way that continues to promote innovation and to preserve the flexibility of the “gig” economy.