The Chan Zuckerberg Initiative is ambitious, to say the least. Even backed by Zuckerberg’s vast personal fortune, the company set the bar very high when it set out with the aims like curing all diseases in the world, within our children’s lifetime.
Indeed, it is an aim that though noble beyond measure, would be hard to achieve unless everyone came together to help. And of course, the lawmakers must be convinced to lend their aid to the organization’s various activities as and when required. That is probably why the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative has taken up Uber’s David Plouffe to head it’s policy and advocacy team.
For the uninitiated, David Plouffe is a name well known in the corridors of power. Although he is currently Uber’s chief advisor, he has been involved in various political roles of import including, managing President Obama’s election campaign.
In his new role at the CZI, which does not involve him divesting himself of his responsibilities at Uber, Plouffe will be doing something he is very familiar with. Lobbying, only it will be for a cause and will see him interact with politicians and the government so as to facilitate the way for Chan Zuckerberg’s various programs that are meant to improve the quality of life for the denizens of the planet. The programs include a better education program for children and the $3 billion set aside for the biohub that will propel research to cure every disease on the planet.
In case you are wondering, all this money comes from Zuckerberg’s personal fortune. Mark and Priscilla pledged to donate 99 percent of the Facebook founder’s shares in the company to the initiative. The shares were worth a hefty $45 billion at the time at which the pledge was made. So yeah, that is a lot of money and has the potential to do a lot of good.
Meanwhile, there is also speculation that the hire may be further cause to suspect the Facebook founder of harboring political ambitions. Reports of these ambitions surface recently after it was discovered that the changes pushed by Mark Zuckerberg last year allow him to take up a role in the government and still control Facebook — without requiring him to limit his role to a two year period as was previously thought.
Plouffe could prove to be a valuable asset linking Zuckerberg to the political circles and helping him find new allies. Interestingly, Chan Zuckerberg Initiative has also selected George W. Bush’s campaign manager Ken Mehlman as leader of its policy advisory board.
As per Mark Zuckerberg,
Like David, Ken has a long history in both the public and private sectors. He ran the Republican National Committee, was campaign manager for George W. Bush’s presidential campaign, and today is a member at KKR where he partners with companies around the world. David and Ken built campaigns for different parties but have also come together to work on issues like marriage equality.
Meanwhile, the question of whether or not Zuckerberg will make a good president is mote at present. Let’s just hope that all the recent appointments that have been made help the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative achieve its noble goals.