The Man Playing Peacemaker Between Trump and Tech

As tensions mount between President Donald Trump and his fiercest critics in Silicon Valley, Michael Kratsios has the thorny task of playing peacemaker. Kratsios, one of the White House’s top technology advisers, is developing a high-tech policy agenda that he says will spur innovation in emerging technologies such as drones and artificial intelligence. “We are really working on issues that policy makers have never tackled before,” said Kratsios, the US deputy chief technology officer. “It’s just a question of putting smart people around a table and trying to come up with an innovative approach to regulating” new technologies, he said. To do that, he will need to work closely with the science and tech communities—some of the staunchest critics of Trump’s policies. Leading scientists and tech executives have abandoned White House advisory councils and complained that the president’s policies in areas like climate change and immigration threaten to reverse years of economic and social progress. It may help that Kratsios, 31 years old, hails from the world of technology, having spent seven years as an executive at venture-capital firms founded by Silicon Valley luminary Peter Thiel. A former college intern for Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC), Kratsios said he hoped to eventually pursue a career in public service.

The White House has yet to nominate a director for the Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP), a department that helps the president shape a range of policies. Kratsios, who will report to the director, declined to reveal any candidate names or the timing of a nomination.


The Man Playing Peacemaker Between Trump and Tech