AEI Gets $20 Million Donation from Private Equity Mogul

Tuesday, 25 Feb 2014 11:27 AM

By Courtney Coren

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The American Enterprise Institute, the conservative think tank, has received a $20 million pledge from Daniel D'Aniello, co-founder of the Carlyle Group and vice chairman of the institute's board of trustees, to help it move to its first permanent home.

The building in the Dupont Circle area in Washington, D.C., that AEI will occupy will be named the Daniel A. D'Aniello Building.

This is the first time the 75-year-old think tank has had its own building, which it purchased in June 2013 from the National Preservation of the Historic Trust and was formerly owned by Andrew Mellon. AEI will make upgrades to the building and revamp its interior and exterior, according to the group's website.

"This move is an example of AEI's expanding service to the nation and is only possible because of the strong support of our community of investors," Arthur Brooks, AEI president, said in a statement.

"I am particularly grateful to Dan for his visionary investment of $20 million, which forms the cornerstone of our new permanent home, where we will be better able to lead the fight for the system and culture of freedom that are America's gift to the world," Brooks said.

D'Aniello told The Washington Post that AEI reflects his own philosophy and values that were ingrained in him while growing up in the 1940s and '50s in Butler, Pa., and that is why he wanted to give such a substantial donation to the think tank. 

"It's all about freedom, opportunity, and enterprise," D'Aniello said. "Those are the watch words of AEI, so if I would think about my life, I would think about it in just that way."

D'Aniello co-founded Carlyle in 1987 with David Rubenstein. It is now one of the biggest private-equity firms in the world. According to Forbes, D'Aniello has a net worth of $2.6 billion.

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