Just about everyone these days is familiar with the name Jared Kushner. Married to the President’s daughter, Ivanka, Jared also has Mr. Trump’s trust and his ear, perhaps more than anyone else in terms of business. As such, that part of the Kushner family is – at least currently – staunchly Republican.
But there’s another Kushner in business, and he’s putting together a template for how a business, even with deep political ties, can bridge the political divide in order to bring in sales and increase value.
Josh Kushner, owner of VC fund Thrive Capital, confirmed that his company has hired Josh Miller. Why is this significant? Because Miller’s last gig was as the White House’s Director of Product … under President Obama. Miller was not only the most recent in that position, he was also the first, taking a job created as the White House began to respond to a vastly different political climate. Politics was now a consumer product on every level, and the administration needed someone to manage their product. Miller was their guy. And now he works for Kushner.
And this isn’t the first left-leaning gig Miller has held. Prior to working for Mr. Obama, Kushner worked with Facebook. But it was his work, not his associations, that attracted Josh Kushner.
Miller was instrumental in the move to utilize technology to deal with civic issues. He was able to create and implement initiatives to mobilize certain market segments using tech that didn’t even exist when Mr. Obama first took office. From ecommerce actions to raise money for causes close to the heart of the administration to Kickstarter campaigns to resource refugee camps, Miller was a trendsetter using tech tools that practically define the generation gap between Millennials and Boomers.
Miller is bringing his social improvement ideas along with him to Thrive, and Kushner seems pleased to have him on board. As a “lifelong Democrat” the younger Kushner brother has been able to keep his political views out of the spotlight even as he makes business moves in one of the most heated political environments in this country’s history. Due to his very famous name, many assume his politics, but Kushner has managed to avoid misunderstanding, entanglements and problematic moments by keeping his focus on business and pulling the best talent onto his team from across the spectrum.
That’s not to say he’s been completely silent. Associated brands owned by Kushner have been openly critical of some of the Trump administration’s move. And, while that might make Thanksgiving this year a bit uncomfortable at the Kushners, it hasn’t hurt this young, diversified CEO’s growing stable of businesses. He’s keeping his focus on business, no matter how distracted the rest of the country seems to be.