|White House Deputy Chief of Staff|
April 20, 2006 – January 20, 2009
|President||George W. Bush|
|Preceded by||Karl Rove|
|Succeeded by||Mona Sutphen|
|Born||1969 (age 50–51)|
Weston, Massachusetts, U.S.
|Political party||Democratic (Before late 1990s)|
Republican (late 1990s–present)
Laura Lyn Cox
|Education||Harvard University (BA, JD)|
|Branch/service||United States Marine Corps|
|Years of service||1991-1995|
Joel David Kaplan (born 1969) is an American political advisor and former lobbyist serving as Facebook's vice president of global public policy. Previously, he worked eight years in the George W. Bush administration. After leaving the Bush administration, he was a lobbyist for energy companies.
Within Facebook, Kaplan is seen as a strong conservative voice. He has helped place conservatives in key positions in the company, and advocated for the interests of the right-wing websites Breitbart News and The Daily Caller within the company. He has successfully advocated for changes in Facebook's algorithm to promote the interests of right-wing publications, and successfully prevented Facebook from closing down Facebook groups that were alleged to have circulated fake news, arguing that doing so would disproportionately target conservatives.
Early life and education
Kaplan was born in Weston, Massachusetts. He earned a Bachelor of Arts from Harvard University in 1991, after which he served as an Artillery Officer in the United States Marine Corps for four years. He then earned a Juris Doctor from Harvard Law School in 1998.
After law school, he clerked for Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia and Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals Judge J. Michael Luttig. He was an active conservative Democrat during the early-1990s. He registered as a Republican in the late-1990s.
George W. Bush 2000 campaign
George W. Bush administration (2001–2009)
From 2001 to 2003 he was special assistant to the president for policy within the White House Chief of Staff’s office. Then he served as deputy director of the Office of Management And Budget, serving under Joshua Bolten. While at the OMB, in 2006, Kaplan said the administration would cut the deficit by half by 2009.
In April 2006 he returned to the White House as the White House Deputy Chief of Staff for policy, taking over policy planning duties from Karl Rove as part of a staff shake-up by White House Chief of Staff Josh Bolten. Blake Gottesman was the other Deputy Chief of Staff and focused on operations. He was responsible for the development and implementation of the Administration’s policy agenda.
While in the Bush administration, Kaplan was seen as very close to Bolten.
Prior to joining Facebook, Kaplan was the executive vice president for public policy and external affairs for Energy Future Holdings (EFH), where he oversaw company-wide public affairs and led EFH’s efforts to "publicly demonstrate and communicate its role in the energy industry".
In May 2011 Facebook hired Kaplan as its vice president of U.S. public policy, as part of a Facebook's effort to "strengthen" the company's ties to Republican lawmakers on Capitol Hill. In October 2014, Kaplan succeeded Marne Levine as Facebook's vice president of global public policy.
Within the company, Kaplan advocated against restrictions on racially incendiary speech. He played an important role in crafting an exception for newsworthy political discourse when deciding on whether content violated the community guidelines. During the 2016 election, Kaplan advocated against closing down Facebook groups which allegedly peddled fake news. Kaplan argued that getting rid of the groups would have disproportionately targeted conservatives. In 2017, after Facebook had implemented changes to its algorithm to expose users to more content by family and friends and less by publishers who were determined by Facebook to engage in misinformation, Kaplan questioned whether the algorithm disproportionately hurt conservative publishers and successfully advocated for Facebook to change the algorithm again.
He pushed against a proposed Facebook project that was intended to make Facebook users of different political views engage with each other in less hostile ways. Kaplan argued that this feature would lead conservatives to accuse Facebook of bias. Kaplan also reportedly advocated on behalf of Breitbart News and the Daily Caller within Facebook. Kaplan has helped to place conservatives in key positions in the leadership of Facebook.
On April 8, 2006, Kaplan married Laura Cox Kaplan (formerly Laura Lyn Cox) in Washington, D.C.
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- "Joel Kaplan, Vice President, Global Public Policy" (PDF). Purdue University. Retrieved 20 February 2018.
- Hudson, John (26 May 2011). "Get to Know Facebook's Lobbyist Dream Team". The Atlantic. Retrieved 20 February 2018.
- Lattman, Evelyn M. Rusli and Peter (2011). "Facebook Taps Joel Kaplan to Head Washington Office". New York Times. Retrieved 2020-06-02.
- Tsukayama, Hayley (6 October 2014). "Facebook taps D.C. office head to manage global policy". Washington Post. Retrieved 20 February 2018.
- "Zuckerberg once wanted to sanction Trump. Then Facebook wrote rules that accommodated him". The Washington Post. 2020.
- Sonnemaker, Tyler. "A Facebook executive rallied support for Kavanaugh's Supreme Court nomination, a new book says". Business Insider. Retrieved 2020-06-02.
- "Cox, Kaplan exchange vows". Brownwood (TX) Bulletin. GateHouse Media LLC. July 2, 2006. Retrieved February 21, 2018.