About Don Carlson

Welcome to my blog, a space where I share my journey, ideas, and vision for a better future. I'm Don Carlson, a dedicated educator, investor and environmental advocate, with a passion for sustainable development and democratic reform.

Don Carlson with Daughter at a congressional event

Don Carlson is an executive, educator, attorney and entrepreneur.


Don is the founder and managing member of Boulder Ventures LLC, an active early stage investment entity that invests primarily in renewable energy and other sustainable businesses. Don has been an active investor in this space for over 20 years with 15 companies directly involved in combatting climate change through various forms of carbon reduction. He has served as a director or advisor to a range of high-growth companies in finance, technology and renewable energy.


Don headed the Tsai Leadership Program in the early stages of its development within Yale Law School. He left that position to run for Congress in his native Rhode Island in the summer of 2023.


As a partner with the leading firm of Lansberg Gersick Advisors, Don spent 6 years working closely with families that own large enterprises on their governance, family dynamics, and investment policies. During that time he worked with some of the largest foundations in America and developed deep expertise in the mechanics of philanthropy.


Earlier in his career, Don served in various positions with Goldman Sachs & Co. He served as Chief Knowledge Officer for the investment bank and Chief of Staff for the legal division during his tenure with that firm. In close partnership with Goldman Sachs University, he developed a leadership curriculum highlighting principled negotiation, and the role of “emotional intelligence” in organizational life -- content that has nourished his work with family enterprises and in conducting leadership and negotiation workshops at Goldman Sachs, the World Economic Forum, and other major financial and academic institutions.


Don has an abiding passion for education. In academic settings, Don has returned several times to Williams College where he has. been the Class of 1946 Distinguished Visiting Professor of Environmental Studies at Williams College; Visiting Professor of Economics; and Chair of the program in Political Economy. He developed and taught the leadership curriculum as a founding faculty member of the Bard College MBA program in sustainable business studies. He rounded out his own education as a teaching fellow at Harvard University where he collaborated closely with Roger Fisher (author of Getting to Yes) in negotiation theory and practice and Pulitzer prize-winning psychiatrist Robert Coles on his famed “Literature of Social Reflection” course.


Don’s hands-on business experience is varied and extensive: He led two successful growth stage companies as CEO; headed the financial services division at Axiom Legal; launched an innovative law firm for start-ups; and stewarded business development for The Corporate Executive Board during the period leading to its successful IPO in 1999.


Don earned his B.A. from Williams College in 1983, and his J.D. from Harvard Law School in 1986. Upon completing law school, Don clerked for the Honorable Bruce M. Selya, United States Circuit Judge for the First Circuit, and was Legislative Director for the Honorable Joseph P. Kennedy II during his first two terms in Congress.


Today he is 62 and lives in his hometown of Jamestown, Rhode Island.

Latest blog posts

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Don Carlson
June 2, 2024
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Davos: Day 3 “Nothing is Broken in Switzerland”

What we value as a people defines who we are 

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Don Carlson
June 2, 2024
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Davos EXTRA: The Legacy of Henry Kissinger

Author Niall Ferguson expounded on his forthcoming biography on the life, legacy and philosophy of Henry Kissinger

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Don Carlson
June 2, 2024
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Davos Day 4: Launch of the Free Thinkers Society

An “Un-Davos” Experiment — The Free Thinker Society is Born