President Donald Trump’s son-in-law and senior adviser Jared Kushner will head up the new White House office of American Innovation, White House officials confirmed Sunday.
“We can confirm we are making an announcement tomorrow to establish the White House office of American Innovation and look forward to sharing additional details,” the official said.
Kushner and a team of former business executives will focus on utilizing business ideas to improve government stagnation, according to the Washington Post. It will also reportedly consider privatizing some existing bureaucratic functions.
“We should have excellence in government,” Kushner said Sunday. “The government should be run like a great American company. Our hope is that we can achieve successes and efficiencies for our customers, who are the citizens.”
Trump said that Kushner and his team would have full authority to fulfill campaign promises such as reforming the office of Veterans Affairs and developing more efficient technology and data infrastructure for government agencies.
“All Americans, regardless of their political views, can recognize that government stagnation has hindered our ability to properly function, often creating widespread congestion and leading to cost overruns and delays,” Trump told The Washington Post in a statement. “I promised the American people I would produce results, and apply my ‘ahead of schedule, under budget’ mentality to the government.”
The team was designed to shake things up, using tried-and-true business models from business executives with little-to-no political experience instead of stale government ideas to run the country. According to The Post, the team will focus on technology and data, and will work with business tech giants like Apple chief executive Tim Cook and Microsoft founder Bill Gates. Salesforce chief executive Marc Benioff and Tesla founder and chief executive Elon Musk will also work with the group, which has already met with more than 100 leaders and government officials.
Although some leaders consulting with the team have not agreed with Trump’s previous policies, including the immigration executive order, they are eager to join forces.
“Obviously, it has to be done with corresponding values and principles. We don’t agree on everything,” said Benioff, who was a supporter of Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton. “I’m hopeful that Jared will be collaborative with our industry in moving this forward. When I talk to him, he does remind me of a lot of the young, scrappy entrepreneurs that I invest in in their 30s.”
Kushner will report directly to Trump. Trump’s spokeswoman Hope Hicks said the president hopes to bring his own business achievements to the public sector.
“He recognized where the government has struggled with certain projects and he was someone in the private sector who was able to come in and bring the resources and creativity needed and ultimately execute in an efficient, cost-effective, way,” Hicks said. “In some respects, this is an extension of some of the highlights of the president’s career.”