Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg and his wife, Dr. Priscilla Chan, are putting their legendary wealth toward philanthropy. With their Chan Zuckerberg Initiative, the limited liability company they set up in 2015 for their charitable work, they are focusing their efforts on education, science, and curing disease.
Mehlman, Global Head of Public Affairs for Kohlberg Kravis Roberts, is a former Republican National Committee chairman. He chaired George W. Bush’s 2004 re-election campaign and later became an outspoken advocate for marriage equality. He will serve as volunteer chair of the initiative’s Policy Advisory Board.
Ken Mehlman has long been interested in educational opportunity. He is a trustee of his alma mater, Franklin & Marshall College, a trustee of Sponsors of Educational Opportunity, and a member of the Teach for America board of directors.
“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 in a recent Facebook post.
“Policy Advisory Board members will share a strong belief in excellent education for every child, expanding opportunity so every individual may reach his or her potential, and a commitment to improving the human condition by discovering cures to debilitating diseases,” he continued.
Plouffe, who managed Barack Obama’s 2008 presidential campaign and served as a board member of the Obama Foundation, is joining the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative as President of Policy and Advocacy. He is leaving his position as Chief Advisor and board member at Uber in order to serve in his new role.
“Curing disease, improving education through personalized learning, and building technology and tools to help organizations reach their full potential are areas with widespread support and massive potential for mobilization, great storytelling, and smart policy engagement,” Plouffe wrote in a Facebook post. “I’m also eagerly anticipating collaborating with and learning from Ken Mehlman, someone I have deep respect and admiration for.”
Ken Mehlman and David Plouffe join a number of other notable individuals to guide the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative’s work. James Shelton III, former deputy secretary of the Department of Education, will oversee the organization’s education advocacy efforts. Cori Bargmann, a neuroscientist at Rockefeller University, was named President of Science last September, and Brian Pinkerton, a former Amazon executive, was named Chief Technology Officer in October.