Ken Mehlman and David Plouffe Team Up at Chan Zuckerberg Initiative

by Ramesh Ponnuru

On Facebook, Mark Zuckerberg announced that former Obama campaign manager will lead the philanthropy’s policy and advocacy effort and former Republican National Committee chairman Ken Mehlman will chair its policy advisory board. Mehlman notes that the initiative’s focus is on “expanding educational opportunities through personalized learning and promoting research on life-saving medical advances.”

Educational opportunity has been one of Mehlman’s interests throughout his career. He is also a trustee of Franklin & Marshall College (where he was an undergraduate), a trustee of Sponsors of Educational Opportunity, and a member of the board of directors of Teach for America.

Zuckerberg has also funded policy advocacy work on immigration, where many conservatives disagreed with him. This work should, however, prove less controversial on the right, and Mehlman’s inclusion in the effort is a sign that real efforts to include conservatives will be made. I hear that the initiative has already been soliciting input from conservatives and reaching out to top officials in the Trump transition.

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