Former Trump infra advisor joins Stonepeak

DJ Gribbin’s appointment was announced days after the firm closed its third infrastructure fund on $7.2bn – its largest to date and the biggest raised in the sector this year.

DJ Gribbin, the former top infrastructure advisor to the Trump administration, is joining Stonepeak Infrastructure Partners, which on Monday closed its third infrastructure fund.

Gribbin, who left the White House in April, was hired as a senior operating partner for the New York-based firm and will be based in Leesburg, Virginia. He previously worked with Stonepeak co-founders Mike Dorrell, Trent Vichie and other senior executives at Macquarie Group.

“He will join a team of 11 highly credentialled operating partners and senior advisors who support Stonepeak’s deal sourcing and asset management activity across the firm’s target sectors of transportation, communications, midstream energy, water and power, renewables and utilities,” the firm said in a statement.

On Monday, Stonepeak closed its third and largest infrastructure fund yet on $7.2 billion. The firm plans to invest in mostly North American assets in sectors including power, water, energy, communications and transportation.

For 14 months, Gribbin helped lead the Trump administration’s initiative to reinvest in America’s infrastructure. His task was to figure out how to pay for the billions of dollars state and local governments need for projects but don’t have the budget for, and he was an advocate for using public-private partnerships. He left after the administration’s push to enact large-scale reform continued to hit delays.

“He probably recognised the $20 billion-a-year programme the federal government was proposing is a fraction of what’s needed,” Martin Klepper, former executive director of the Build America Bureau, told Infrastructure Investor earlier this year. “I think he was also practical enough to realise this administration has lots of other priorities besides infrastructure, even though they keep talking about infrastructure.”

Gribbin was previously a managing director at Macquarie Capital, where he led efforts on PPPs, including the Elizabeth River Tunnels project in Virginia, as well as the Indiana Toll Road privatisation. He’s also served as general counsel for the Department of Transportation and chief counsel for the Federal Highway Administration during the George W Bush administration.