Charles Allison | The New School for Public Engagement
  • Faculty

    Charles Allison

    Associate Professor of Professional Practice, Urban Policy

    Charles Allison

    Charles H. Allison, Jr. is an Associate Professor of Professional Practice at The Milano School of International Affairs, Management and Urban Policy at The New School for Public Engagement. He has more than 20 years of work experience in investment banking, direct private market and foundation investing, economic development finance, and renewable energy, especially biodiesel and solar power for use in housing and distributed electricity generation. At Milano he has taught courses in finance and leadership, and students from his finance courses participated in the U.S. Department of Energy Solar Decathlon 2011, providing subject matter expertise on the financial feasibility of passive solar housing. Professor Allison's interests lie in the areas of general management, entrepreneurship, energy independence, issues of national security and economic development, U.S. immigration reform, and strategic change. He specializes in scalable for-profit and not-for-profit entrepreneurial business models, renewable energy, strategy, leadership and governance. He also is deeply interested in case method teaching, using technology to enhance pedagogy and mentoring entrepreneurs. He was previously a visiting senior lecturer at the Johnson School of Management at Cornell University, and is a Fellows Program Mentor at The Legatum Center for Development & Entrepreneurship at MIT. He is a frequent speaker at conferences, most recently The United States Army - United States Air Force Energy Forum, and is an Op-Ed writer, most recently “Immigration Reform = Growth” which was published in the “Philadelphia Inquirer”.

    Since 2005, he has been Chief Executive Officer of Commonwealth Biofuels (CWBiofuels), an alternative energy project development company, and a predecessor biofuels business. Prior to this, he founded Vision Consulting Associates, a corporate finance and economic development advisory firm that develops alternative energy projects in the United States and abroad, works with local and federal governmental agencies, and assists entrepreneurs in growing their businesses. This was preceded by five years in which he lived in South Africa working for a pan-African investment management company and a middle-market private equity fund. His other professional experience includes executive positions at JP Morgan & Co., Merrill Lynch & Co., James D. Wolfensohn, Inc., Barclays Bank, and The F.B. Heron Foundation. Professor Allison earned an AB from Dartmouth College with a major in Geography and Environmental Studies, focusing on agricultural land use and agribusiness, prior to earning his MBA at Harvard Business School (where he focused on finance and general management). He currently serves on the board of directors of WE ACT for Environmental Justice, on the Executive Committee of the Dartmouth Alumni Association of New York City, is a member of The Partnership for a New American Economy and is a member of the Admissions Board at Harvard Business School.

    Professional Affiliations

    Fellows Program Mentor
    The Legatum Center for Development & Entrepreneurship at MIT

    Visiting Senior Lecturer (2009)
    Johnson Graduate School of Management at Cornell University

    Chief Executive Officer
    Commonwealth Biofuels LLC (CWBiofuels)