Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg reportedly hires pollster Joel Benenson

on Aug3

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg delivers the keynote address at the 2017 Facebook's F8 Developer Conference

Justin Sullivan | Getty Images

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg delivers the keynote address at the 2017 Facebook’s F8 Developer Conference

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg and his wife, Priscilla Chan, hired a Democratic pollster and former top advisor to President Barack Obama as a consultant, according to a report from Politico.

The report, citing a person familiar with the matter, said Joel Benenson and his company, Benenson Strategy Group, will conduct research for the couple’s philanthropy — the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative.

Hiring Benenson is the latest sign that Zuckerberg and Chan are pushing their philanthropic work more heavily into the political and policy world, according to Politico. The report pointed out that the couple previously hired Obama’s 2008 presidential campaign manager David Plouffe and brought on Amy Dudley, who was a former communications advisor to Democratic senator Tim Kaine.

There has been public speculation that Zuckerberg could be aiming to one day enter politics, or even run for U.S. president.

Most recently, Benenson was the chief strategist to Hillary Clinton’s unsuccessful 2016 presidential campaign.

“As a philanthropic organization focused on a number of substantive issues including science, education, housing and criminal justice reform, any research efforts we undertake is to support that work,” a spokesperson for the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative told CNBC in response to a query about the implications of hiring Benenson as a consultant.

Read more about Benenson’s hiring and speculation about Zuckerberg’s political ambitions here.



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