President Trump has appointed his son-in-law and senior adviser Jared Kushner to head the White House Office of American Innovation, designed to rework the government using inspiration from the private sector.
This is quite a big task for a 36-year-old with no former governing experience. But it’s not the first one added to his portfolio. Kushner has been given a litany of tasks, from international diplomacy to daily White House operations.
Here’s a look at everything Kushner has been tasked with in the White House.
Trump confirmed in January that Kushner would join him as a senior adviser in the White House working closely with Chief of Staff Reince Priebus and Chief Strategist Steve Bannon. His specific duties were not delineated, but Trump noted his son-in-law would be an “invaluable member” of his team working to implement his policy agenda.
“Jared has been a tremendous asset and trusted adviser throughout the campaign and trusted adviser throughout the campaign and transition and I am proud to have him in a leadership role in my administration,” Trump said in a statement.
The Office of American Innovation is expected to tackle domestic issues such as Veterans’ Affairs, workforce development and opioid addiction, the Associated Press reports.
“The government should be run like a great American company,” Kushner told the Washington Post of the initiative, one of the few interviews he has granted since becoming a senior adviser. “Our hope is that we can achieve successes and efficiencies for our customers, who are the citizens.”
Being a ‘shadow diplomat’
Trump’s belief in Kushner’s diplomatic capabilities also extends to other areas of the world. The Washington Post reported in February that, in the White House, Kushner is “the primary point of contact for presidents, ministers and ambassadors from more than two dozen countries.” The Post also reported Kushner worked with Mexican Foreign Secretary Luis Videgaray on language for Trump’s executive order on a wall with Mexico.
Kushner was also expected to visit Canada in early January to talk to Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s Cabinet while they convened to discuss ties with the United States, but the visit was scrapped for “logistical reasons,” Reuters reported.
Brokering peace in the Middle East
Just two weeks after Trump’s election, when reports were circulating that he wanted to name Kushner to an advisory role but could be thwarted by the anti-nepotism statute, the then President-elect told the New York Times he wanted his son in law involved in brokering peace between the Israelis and the Palestinians.
“I would love to be able to be the one that made peace with Israel and the Palestinians,” Trump told the paper. “I think he’d [Jared] be very good at it. I mean he knows it so well. He knows the region, knows the people, knows the players.”
Trump was even more forceful about Kushner’s role six weeks later. “Jared is such a good kid and he’ll make a deal with Israel that no one else can,” he told the Sunday Times. “He’s a natural deal-maker — everyone likes him.”