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Former CIA head Woolsey is now clean-tech investor

James Woolsey, a clean-energy enthusiast with a strong energy security agenda, joins clean-tech venture capital firm VantagePoint Venture Partners.

R. James Woolsey, the former CIA director, has been hired as a clean-tech venture partner, VantagePoint Venture Partners said Wednesday.

Woolsey, who is also a former international arms treaty negotiator, has emerged as a prominent clean-energy advocate. He is focusing on energy issues and their role in national security.

R. James Woolsey speaks at the MIT Energy conference last month. Click on the image to see a photo gallery from the event. Martin LaMonica/CNET

He sees an intersection between political interests and environmental protection when it comes to energy.

In a talk at the MIT Energy Conference last month, Woolsey said a number of technologies--although not all--appeal to both "treehuggers" and "hawks," including energy efficiency, co-generation, distributed electricity generation, biofuels, and plug-in hybrid vehicles.

"You can make money, instead of losing it, by doing things environmentally," he said at the conference.

Woolsey follows former Vice President Al Gore in a transition from politics to eco-investing. Gore is a partner at Kleiner, Perkins, Caufield & Byers, another venture firm investing heavily in green tech.

For more on Woolsey, see this profile in Mother Jones magazine, which called him "Hybrid Hawk."