The Chan Zuckerberg Initiative has enlisted the help of two former government officials to assist in their charity efforts. One of the recruits is former Obama campaign manager David Plouffe. Plouffe most recently served as vice president of Uber’s policy and strategy. He will now serve as president of policy and advocacy at the Initiative.
Interestingly enough, the Initiative also brought Ken Mehlman on board. Mehlman managed George W. Bush’s 2004 re-election campaign and at one point was the chairman of the Republican National Committee. Mehlman will now chair the Initiative’s policy advisory board.
It’s a peculiar matchup to say the least, considering that these men come from opposite ends of the political spectrum. However, Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg is confident that the duo will work effectively together.
“David and Ken built campaigns for different parties but have also come together to work on issues like marriage equality,” Zuckerberg wrote on Facebook. “They’ll work together to find opportunities to work with governments, partners, and people everywhere to advance human potential and promote equal opportunity.”
Back in December 2015, Mark Zuckerberg and his wife, Dr. Priscilla Chan, pledged to donate 99% of their Facebook shares to causes involving education, curing diseases, and building communities. Both Plouffe and Mehlman expressed how honored they were to help accomplish these objectives.
“My job will be to find creative ways to lift the voices of those who want to build a better future—no matter where they live, their background, or their ideology,” Plouffe wrote on Facebook. “Curing disease, improving education through personalized learning, and building technology and tools to help organizations reach their full potential are areas with wide spread support and massive potential for mobilization, great storytelling, and smart policy engagement.”
Mehlman also took to Facebook following the announcement of his new role:
“I look forward to chairing the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative’s Policy Advisory Board, a group of volunteers representing a cross section of American society, and I want to thank Mark Zuckerberg and Priscilla Chan for asking me to take on this exciting role,” Mehlman wrote.
During their involvement at the Initiative, Plouffe will remain a board member at Uber and Mehlman will continue his work at private equity firm KKR.