Facebook Forms Issue Advocacy Group in D.C. as Zuckerberg Tries Politics | Adweek Facebook Forms Issue Advocacy Group in D.C. as Zuckerberg Tries Politics | Adweek
Advertisement

Zuckerberg Turns to Politics

Facebook-backed advocacy group to push for immigration and education reform

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg

If you're Mark Zuckerberg and you've already created the biggest social network of all time by the time you're 28, what's next? Try politics. Washington is buzzing about a new lobbying organization organized by the Facebook CEO to take on issues, like immigration reform and education, that could help tech companies like Facebook find more talent and remain competitive.

News of the non-profit advocacy group was first reported by the San Francisco Chronicle. Joe Green—Zuckerberg's old Harvard roommate—is heading up the effort, backed by millions from Facebook.

Also reportedly involved is Joe Lockhart, the former White House press secretary under Bill Clinton and former vp of global communications at Facebook. He returned earlier this year to the Glover Park Group, a Washington consultancy he co-founded. Other names reported are GOP consultants and strategists Jon Lerner and Rob Jesmer.

The group, which doesn't have a name, has retained New York agency SS+K, which also worked on President Obama's campaign, The Hill reported

Zuckerberg's foray into politics shouldn't be a surprise. Last year, he hosted a fundraiser for New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie at his Palo Alto home and donated $100 million to schools in Newark, N.J. The company's lobbying spending nearly tripled last year to nearly $4 million, per the Center for Responsive Politics. It has also joined with more than a dozen other Internet companies to form the just-launched The Internet Association, which will help give the entire tech sector a much bigger presence in the halls of Congress.

Chances are, the group will focus first on immigration reform. Zuckerberg was one of 100 tech company CEOs and trade groups earlier this month who sent a letter to President Obama and Congressional leadership calling for reform in order to address the problem of attracting and keeping highly-skilled immigrant professionals in America.

Facebook was not immediately available for comment.

Advertisement