A former Facebook executive has been named the first White House director of product.
Josh Miller, who founded a messaging company acquired by Facebook and later became the social meda giant’s director of product, announced his new gig Tuesday in a personal blog post.
“I’m moving on to something new while also returning to an old problem that means a lot to me,” Miller wrote. “Today, I start in a new role at the White House serving as their first Director of Product. I’m as giddy, wide-eyed, and determined as ever. The White House has many digital products – from WhiteHouse.gov to the We the People Petition site. It’s a dream to be able to add to and improve this portfolio,” he said.
Before he became part of the Facebook empire, Miller founded Branch in 2011. The messaging company – backed by Twitter co-founders Evan Williams and Biz Stone – allowed users to curate Twitter-like conversations on the web. Facebook acquired Branch in 2012 for a reported $15 million, including a deal to bring Miller and his team on board.
Miller is but the latest in a string of Silicon Valley executives to enlist in the ranks of the federal government, including Facebook’s former engineering director, David Recordon, became the White House director of IT in March.
“My plan is to lean on the product ideals that I learned during the last four years building Branch and working at Facebook,” Miller said in his blog post. “Wouldn’t it be great if your government had a conversation with you instead of just talking at you? Imagine if talking to the government was as easy as talking to your friends on social networks? White House officials have started to regularly host Q&As on Twitter. These initiatives represent amazing progress, and there’s so much more good work to be done,” he said. “I’m excited to apply what I’ve learned in the technology industry to the ideals of our democracy. As a mentor of mine likes to say, ‘It’s gonna be great!'”