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Former Google CEO invests money in White House science office

Former Google CEO invests money in White House science office

According to a report in Politico, the foundation of former Google CEO Eric Schmidt poured money into the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy over the past year. The Foundation's close relationship with the office raised ethical concerns with internal monitoring.

Schmidt held multiple roles at Google and parent company Alphabet, including CEO, executive chairman and technical advisor. He withdrew from that last role in 2020. Now, he sits on the board and invests in tech companies, including a number focused on artificial intelligence. The Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP) directs science funding and helps drive AI policy – ​​a reason Rachel Wallace, then the Office's general counsel, said is because of her financial involvement, by Politico. According to an email received. expressed concern about

Politico reported that Schmidt's foundation, Schmidt Futures, paid salaries for OSTP employees. An unpaid consultant in the office was also employed by Schmidt Futures. Several employees were offered Schmidt Futures fellowships, which fund travel to conferences. Some withdrew in response to ethical concerns. Some executives in the office also worked at Harvard and MIT's Broad Institute, where Schmidt is chairman of the board.

He has also worked with Eric Lander, former director of the Office of Science and Technology Policy. Lander resigned in February following reports and "credible evidence" that he had threatened employees, including Wallace.

A spokesman for OSTP, who did not wish to be named by Politico, said that OSTP works with a number of outside groups and that the legal office is reviewing any potential ethical conflicts.

Wallace, who heads OSTP's legal office as general counsel, told Politico she attributes Lander's behavior to her concerns about Schmidt's involvement. "I and others on the legal team had seen a large number of employees with financial connections to Schmidt Futures and were concerned about the impact this organization might have through these individuals," Wallace told Politico.

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