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Google Investor Sits on Obama's Econ Advisory Board

President Barack Obama's newly formed economic advisory board includes some high-tech heavyweights who will have a direct line of communication to the new administration as it races to stem the worsening economic crisis.

The members include Silicon Valley venture capital veteran and Google funder John Doerr, and Chuck Phillips, president of database software giant Oracle.

In an announcement, the administration said the 15 advisers will regularly provide direct advice to Obama "to jump-start economic growth and facilitate economic stability." That includes specific advice for immediate solutions to the crisis.

Doerr, partner of Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Beyers venture capital firm, has invested in Web goliath Amazon and Sun Microsystems. The investor is also a backer of local telecom firm, M2Z, which has fought for more than two years at the Federal Communications Commission for use of spectrum to build and provide free Internet service that would also be filtered for pornography.

His backing of Google only widens the pool of executives and other employees of the Internet search company who are working for or advising the Obama administration. Google CEO Eric Schmidt advised Obama throughout the campaign and sat by the president in a recent meeting with various U.S. CEOs to discuss his support of stimulus plans to create jobs in their industries.

Google has a big stake in the direction of Internet and other technology policy being formed in Washington. Earlier this week, it announced a partnership with IBM to make it easier for patients to gather healthcare data online. Obama has pushed to digitize healthcare records and information to help healthcare providers, insurance companies and patients cut costs and better coordinate information. A push by the administration to include billions of dollars in stimulus funds for the construction of high-speed Internet lines to rural areas would also benefit Internet firms like Google that grow with increased use of the Web.

By Cecilia Kang  |  February 6, 2009; 3:27 PM ET  | Category:  Cecilia Kang
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