Trump’s Newest Tech Adviser Is a Thiel Pal

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Photo: Courtesy Michael Kratsios /Linkedin

Silicon Valley’s biggest Trump backer, Facebook investor Peter Thiel, is cementing his power in the White House. According to Politico, the Trump administration has tapped Michael Kratsios, a Thiel affiliate, to serve as his deputy chief technology officer and deputy assistant to the president. That means Kratsios, and by proxy Thiel, will have the president’s ear on tech issues, such as net neutrality and cybersecurity. As described by TechCrunch, “The CTO leads the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy, with a broad mandate of working on data, innovation and technology policy.”

Kratsios previously led Thiel Capital as chief of staff, and also worked at Clarium Capital as CFO. Clarium is something of a black spot on Thiel’s résumé, having lost 90 percent of its $7 billion in capital by 2011. Thiel is the standout Trump supporter in Silicon Valley, an industry that skews heavily liberal (at least at the individual level; the corporate level is another story). Thiel has, in recent weeks, naively claimed that Trump’s executive order on immigration is not a ban on Muslims entering the country.

Kratsios hasn’t said much about his positions on tech issues in public (He is, however, very upfront on his dormant Tumblr about the fact that he went to Princeton.) One thing that he does seem to enjoy is Ryan Gosling “Hey Girl” memes. Finally, a way to bridge the partisan divide.

Trump’s Newest Tech Adviser Is a Thiel Pal