Chan Zuckerberg Initiative Taps Former Obama Campaign Manager David Plouffe
Mark Zuckerberg may already be on track to securing his political future with the recent hiring of David Plouffe, a top aide to President Barack Obama. The political mastermind has just been tapped to head the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative.
The tenor of reports about Plouffe's employment will most certainly hover along the lines of the initiative's charity work, and this is not going to be surprising.
The new development will place him in control of a company that aims to advance human potential and support programs in the area of health, education, science, and energy.
"I'm excited to work with David on this," Zuckerberg said. "He has great experience building movements as part of companies like Uber and as campaign manager for Barack Obama's presidential campaign."
CZI And Charity
CZI's approach to philanthropy, however, is a bit different from the conventional charity organizations such as the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, which provides direct aid and tool to people around the world to help combat poverty, disease, and other problems.
To demonstrate this, one can turn to the initiative's first major project. It involves an investment on a startup company called Andela, which trains software developers in Africa.
One can say that it is philanthropic work on account of its investment in poor communities, but there is also the fact that the initiative could benefit Facebook in the long-term. To provide more context, one need only look how people criticized Facebook's free internet for all program.
Certainly, there are also initiatives that directly give aid to improve our lot and the Earth in general such as the organization's drive to find cure for diseases, but the initiative has no qualms about turning a profit in some of its work.
As a limited liability company, CZI can invest on companies and engage in political activities such as lobbying and doling out political contributions. This is the reason why Plouffe seems just the perfect person to head the organization.
According to TechCrunch, his clout and connections in the U.S. political realm could help pave the way for CZI's program.
CZI, Plouffe, And Zuckerberg's Politics
Now, if one factors in Zuckerberg's political ambition, Plouffe's hiring will make even more sense.
Recently, Zuckerberg was revealed to be eyeing a possible government service, and it has been a major provision in the latest terms of his tenure as Facebook's CEO.
Specifically, he was able to secure the board's approval for his proposal that he be allowed to maintain control of Facebook even when he is in government service for two years.
One should note that another political operative, former White House chief of staff Erskine Bowles, has been heavily engaged in this process as Facebook's committee member.
Former George W. Bush's campaign manager Ken Mehlman is also the leader of CZI's advisory board.
With Plouffe and the constellation of political rock stars at Facebook and CZI, Zuckerberg — at the very least — is assured of establishing deep political ties that could serve him well if he decides to run for public office.