[New lobbyism?] Google to open ‘Google Ideas’ global technology think tank

Hoping to apply technology solutions to solve the world’s problems, Google is hiring Washington technology insider Jared Cohen.

Jared Cohen in 2007. Image Credit: Washington Life Magazine

A rumor surfaced last month which put Washington insider Jared Cohen on the fast track to Google-dom.  Cohen is famous for his work as ‘Twitterer in Chief’ of the State department where he has lasted through two administrations.

He’s a fascinating fellow.

Cohen was hired during the Bush Administration by Condoleezza Rice’s State Department’s policy planning staff at age 24, just after getting his M.Phil at Oxford as a Rhodes Scholar.  Since then, he has become an incredibly well connected and well traveled diplomat versed in ’21st Century Statecraft’.  He’s also written a book called Children of Jihad where he advocates for the use of technology for social upheaval in the Middle East and elsewhere.

We’ve been told that Cohen is busy building a new entity for Google which is tentatively called Google Ideas.  Ideas is a global initiatives ‘think tank’ office inside of Google and will be run out of New York.  Cohen will be working for Google full time by this fall. His job will be to spearhead initiatives to apply technology solutions to problems faced by the developing world.

Another source tells us that Cohen’s current boss, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, is aware of his impending departure.  Google told Fortune that it doesn’t comment on topics of this nature.  Cohen didn’t respond to requests for comment.

Cohen counts among his friends Twitter and Square founder Jack Dorsey as well as entertainment figures like Whoopi Goldberg and Jimmy Buffett.

He’s no stranger to Google either. Below is a talk in March with Google CEO Eric Schmidt, Jared Cohen and Alec Ross.


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