Laurene Powell Jobs—billionaire, philanthropist, widow of Steve Jobs, and mega-donor to Hillary Clinton’s Super PAC—met with President Donald Trump this week. CNN reported that White House spokesperson Sean Spicer confirmed the meeting Wednesday.
Ms. Powell Jobs used the meeting to speak with the President about immigration and education, a spokesperson told CNN. Her nonprofit, the Emerson Collective, actively pursues innovation and progress in education and advocates for immigrants.
The tagline for the organization is, “Strengthening schools for students, securing human rights for immigrants, and unlocking human potential.”
As mentioned above, she was an active supporter of Hillary Clinton’s failed run at the presidency. That, combined with her philanthropic goals, may make a meeting with President Trump seem unlikely. The administration has pursued an aggressive agenda against illegal immigrants, and has twice imposed travel bans on 7 (now 6) Muslim-majority countries. The president has also been known to carry a grudge against those who didn’t support him.
But still, they met, and it could be they have a tad more in common when it comes to education. Progressives don’t care for Secretary of Education Betsy Davos or her pro-charter and anti-public school agenda, but the Emerson Collective has supported charter schools in the past. In 2016, the XQ Institute, which is backed by the Emerson Collective, awarded some $100 million in grants to a mix of 10 public and charter schools.
You can read more about her thoughts on education, immigration, and children in a letter posted to the Emerson Collective’s site. The specifics of the chat between Ms. Powell Jobs and President Trump weren’t disclosed.
Ms. Powell Jobs has been active in philanthropy for decades—the Emerson Collective was founded in 1997. Her career in philanthropy speaks for itself, but she also draws attention for meetings like this because she is the widow of Steve Jobs.
If there’s one thing the U.S. needs it’s dialog between people who may not see eye to eye on everything. I’d love to have been a fly on the wall of this particular dialog.