What Jared's office actually does

When a dozen and a half CEOs of the world’s biggest tech companies descended on the White House in June, it turned a spotlight on one of the bigger mysteries of a mysterious White House: They were convened by the Office of American Innovation, the new operation being run by presidential son-in-law Jared Kushner.

Announced with much fanfare by the president in March, the office was set up to bring “new thinking and real change” to the country’s toughest problems, according to Trump, in part by drawing on the lessons of the private sector. Since then, observers have been wondering just what it was, or even if it was. It didn’t help that the sweep of its briefing was almost comically broad, from upgrading federal government’s $82 billion worth of information technology, to spurring the creation of new jobs, changing how the country thinks about apprenticeships and "unleashing American business." Not to mention working with sometimes-antagonist Chris Christie’s commission on tackling the United States' opioid epidemic. (And all this while Kushner is also supposed to be tackling Middle Eastern peace.) But over the past few weeks, its responsibilities have started to come into focus. It now has a staff, which worked behind the scenes to bring in the impressive roster of tech CEOs who attended the summit—Amazon’s Jeff Bezos, Apple’s Tim Cook, Microsoft’s Satya Nadella, IBM’s Ginni Rometty and more. It spurred the decision by the Veterans Administration to buy a new, multibillion-dollar computer system. And it had a hand in Trump’s executive order on apprenticeships, issued before the meeting.


What Jared's office actually does