Art Bilger W’75
Founder & CEO
Art Bilger, Founder and CEO of WorkingNation, is currently an active venture capital investor. He has been an investor in and director of various private companies engaged in activities where content is integrated with new technologies. Online education, digital media, and analytics have been areas of particular focus.
Art founded WorkingNation to expose hard truths about the looming unemployment crisis and to bring America together to create new jobs for a changing economy. WorkingNation’s efforts begin with innovative storytelling. The organization has partnered with Academy Award-winning directors and producers to create a wide range of compelling programming that explains the high stakes of Structural Unemployment and investigates potential solutions to the problem.
WorkingNation has created programming in a variety of formats -- 5-7 minute digital shorts, data visualization and animation, TV news documentary segments, hour-long documentary features, short films, and more -- in order to promote sharing and maximize reach. By working with and showcasing corporations, thought leaders, NPOs, foundations, and local governments that are working on scalable solutions, WorkingNation hopes to start a national conversation about the issue and keep America working.
Art’s early activities in the area of venture capital began as an investor and Vice Chairman of Akamai Technologies, Inc., a provider of global, high-performance services for the delivery of Internet content, streaming media and applications. From 1994 until Akamai’s sale to News Corporation in 1997, he was the President, Chief Operating Officer, and a director of New World Communications Group, Inc., a television production and broadcasting company.
Prior to that, from 1990 through 1994, Art was a founding partner of Apollo Advisors, LP, and an institutional private equity firm where he was involved in a broad spectrum of corporate restructurings. In 1977, he joined Drexel Burnham Lambert Inc., where he served in numerous capacities until 1990, including as Executive Vice President, Co-Head of Corporate Finance and a Director.
Art serves as a member of the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School Board of Overseers and sits on the Board’s Executive Committee. Also at Wharton, Art sits on the Board and is the Founding Funder of the Wharton Customer Analytics Initiative, an entity focused on the evolution of analytics in the corporate world.
His other non-profit affiliations include Vice Chairman of the Skirball Cultural Center and a Board member of Bet Tzedek, a legal services organization working with those less fortunate throughout Los Angeles. He also served as Executive Producer for the film 20 Feet From Stardom, which won the 2013 Oscar for Best Documentary Feature from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, and the 2013 award for Best Documentary at the Independent Spirit Awards.
Art’s career began with the completion of his B.S. in Economics from the University of Pennsylvania and subsequent MBA from The University of Chicago.