Governor George F. Allen
At the conclusion of his term as Governor of Virginia, George Allen viewed with satisfaction the monumental reforms his administration achieved that made Virginia a national model in economic development, public safety, education accountability, and welfare reform. The Washington Post called Allen "one of the most influential governors in recent Virginia history". The Richmond Times-Dispatch recently praised Allen's campaign "among the most policy-driven campaigns in gubernatorial history."
Keeping the promises he made to Virginians, and working with a Democratic-controlled General Assembly, Allen successfully cut taxes by more than $600 million; instituted high academic Standards of Learning and School Performance Report Cards; made neighborhoods safer with the abolition of parole; initiated historic, pro-work welfare reforms; enacted the nation's first Public-Private Transportation funding system; repealed or amended 71% of all regulations; reduced the size of government with greater efficiency and accountability; and grew the economy – making sure the world knew "Virginia is Open for Business". With added revenues, Allen was able to freeze tuition rates at universities and community colleges.
His administration recruited over $13 billion in new investments and created more than 300,000 net new private sector jobs. When Allen was sworn in as Governor in 1994, coal and cigarettes were Virginia's top exports; after four years of Allen's tireless dedication to economic-development, semi-conductors became Virginia's top export, leading U.S. News and World Report to dub Virginia the "Silicon Dominion".
Elected to the U.S. Senate in 2000, Allen advocated for policies to make America a leader in innovation and technology. He was Chairman of the Senate High Tech Task Force and created the Competitiveness Caucus. Allen founded the Nanotechnology Caucus with Senator Ron Wyden (D-OR), with whom he also co-sponsored the 21st Century Nanotechnology Research & Development Act in 2003 and the Internet Tax Freedom Act in 2004. Allen Sponsored the Minority Serving Institution Digital And Wireless Technology Opportunity Act Of 2005 and introduced a $1,000 per-child Education Opportunity Tax Credit in 2001, a modified version of which was passed later that year.
Allen was a member of the following committees: Energy and Natural Resources; Commerce, Science and Transportation; Foreign Relations (Chairman of the European Affairs Subcommittee); and Small Business and Entrepreneurship. Allen served in Senate Republican Leadership as Chairman of the National Republican Senatorial Committee for the 2004 election cycle.
Born to George H. Allen, a Hall of Fame football coach, and Henrietta L. Allen, a Tunisian-born survivor of the Nazi occupation of North Africa, George Allen started his life in Southern California and Deerfield Illinois, before attending the University of Virginia. Allen holds a B.A. degree "with distinction" in History and a law degree from UVA, and played on UVA's football and rugby teams. Allen was named All-ACC Academic Team, Quarterback in 1972. After graduation from law school, Allen worked in Abingdon, Virginia as a law clerk for U.S. District Judge Glen Williams in the Western District of Virginia and then started his own law practice in Charlottesville.
A self-described "Common Sense Jeffersonian Conservative," Allen had the distinction of holding Thomas Jefferson's seat in the Virginia House of Delegates from 1983 to 1991 and briefly represented Virginia's 7th Congressional District in the U.S. House of Representatives from 1991 to 1992, before a partisan re-districting maneuver combined his district with that of a more senior Republican Member of the House.
In 2007, Allen founded George Allen Strategies, which provides companies and individuals with insightful and effective counsel, consulting and strategic advice on a range of issues including energy, technology, and business development.
Allen serves as Co-Chairman of the Manufacturing Competitiveness Initiative for the National Association of Manufacturers, and as Ambassador to the Association of Passive Optical LAN (APOLAN), a non-profit organization that drives adoption, and educates the market about the technical and economic advantages of fiber-based Passive Optical LAN technology.
Allen also serves and has served on the board of directors of several companies, including Armada-Hoffler (AHH-NYSE), and Nano Risk Assessment Inc., and the Advisory Boards for the VT Group, and NXT Energy Solution, Inc (NSFDF).
Allen is the Reagan Ranch Presidential Scholar for the Young America's Foundation and serves on the Reagan Ranch Board of Governors. Allen serves on the Virginia Commonwealth University School of Engineering Foundation Board of Trustees and the Appalachian School of Law Board of Trustees. Allen serves on the National Advisory Council of the U.S. Global Leadership Coalition and is an Honorary Virginia Co-Chairman of Communities in Schools with Sen. Mark Warner. He serves on the advisory boards of the Mid-Atlantic Hispanic Chamber of Commerce and the Hampton Roads Proton Beam Therapy Institute at Hampton University.
In 2009, Allen launched the American Energy Freedom Center, serving as Chairman until 2011, and rejoining as Chairman in March of 2013. The Center is a 501(c)(3) charitable organization that educates Americans on positive solutions and ideas for more American jobs, competitiveness and prosperity through the development and use of America's plentiful energy resources and innovation.
As Governor, a U.S. Senator and a private citizen, Allen has led Trade Missions and continues to participate in international relations with Asian, European and Latin American countries.
In 2010, Allen authored his book What Washington Can Learn from the World of Sports.
He and his wife, Susan, reside near Mt. Vernon in Fairfax County and have three children: Tyler, Forrest, and Brooke.
Paul Unger served as Counsel and Legislative Director for Senator George Allen for the six years that Senator Allen served in the Senate. While on Senator Allen's staff, Paul worked on issues before the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee including the 2005 energy bill and issues before the Senate Commerce Committee such as the 21st Century Nanotechnology Research and Development Act and efforts to ban taxes on Internet sales. In addition, Paul worked with Senator Allen when he was chair of the European Affairs Subcommittee of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee on matters affecting the bilateral relationship between the European Union and the United States including NATO expansion and cooperation on fighting terrorism.
Prior to working for George Allen, Paul was Counsel to Senator Gordon Smith of Oregon and Majority Staff Director of the House Agriculture Committee. During 2007-2009, Paul was a Vice President of Federal Public Affairs for McGuireWoods Consulting where he lobbied for a variety of business clients. Paul is a graduate of the University of Notre Dame and the Notre Dame Law School.