A 24-year-old from Facebook is leaving the tech world for a job at the White House.
Josh Miller, a Princeton dropout who’s worked at Facebook (FB) since the social media giant bought his startup, Branch, in October 2014, wrote on his personal blog that he started his new job as the White House’s first Director of Product on Tuesday.
“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,” Miller wrote. “In order to do that, my plan is to lean on the product ideals that I learned during the last four years building Branch and working at Facebook. Wouldn’t it be great if your government had a conversation with you instead of just talking at you?”
Miller has some experience working in politics: In 2009, he interned on the Hill. The experience opened his eyes to how senators respond to their constituents’ complaints and concerns with canned responses—a realization that spurred him to create the start-up Branch, a discussion platform tool.
Though Branch was developed in The Obvious Corporation, an incubator funded by Twitter’s co-founders, Miller has specifically criticized Twitter (TWTR) for failing to host productive conversations. Facebook brought the start-up on in 2014 to improve conversation tools on the social media site: “We will be forming Facebook’s Conversations group, based in New York City, with the goal of helping people connect with others around their interests. Their pitch to us was: ‘Build Branch at Facebook scale!'” Miller wrote when the acquisition was announced.