Joe Green (entrepreneur)

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Joe Green is a social entrepreneur based in Silicon Valley in the United States. He is the co-founder (along with Sean Parker) of Causes, a company most famous for its Facebook app designed to encourage philanthropy and make giving a social experience. He was also the president and is one of the founders (along with Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg and many others) of, a 501(c)(4) group created to lobby for amnesty for undocumented immigrants, higher levels of immigrant visas (particularly H-1B), the Keystone XL pipeline,[1] and in opposition to Obamacare among Republican US senators who back immigration reform.[clarification needed],[2] all in a United States-specific context.[3]

Life and career[edit]

Early life[edit]

While in high school in Santa Monica, Green was interested in politics and community activism. According to a Los Angeles Times story, Green "ran for the local school board when he was 17 and campaigned for a living wage for Santa Monica hotel and restaurant workers."[4] Green is Jewish.[5]


In the Fall of 2003, while an undergraduate at Harvard University, Joe Green helped Mark Zuckerberg (who would later found Facebook) create Facemash, a website that allowed users to compare and rate the faces of Harvard undergraduates for attractiveness. Both Green and Zuckerberg were threatened with expulsion by Harvard's administrative board.[6][7]

Green had reportedly attempted to persuade Mark Zuckerberg to create a social network centered around politics, but Zuckerberg created Facebook instead.[4]

In light of the trouble with Facemash, Green's father advised him against collaborating with Zuckerberg on projects similar to Facemash in the future. As a result, Green declined Zuckerberg's offer of shares in Facebook. Had Green accepted, these shares would have been worth billions of dollars at the time of the Facebook IPO.[6][7]

Green studied under Marshall Ganz, who sparked his interest further in community activism and grassroots organizing. In 2004, Green worked on Democratic nominee John Kerry's 2004 presidential campaign. In 2005, Green started Essembly, a nonpartisan social network that helped connect people with others who shared their political views.[4]


In 2007, Green co-founded Causes (a for-profit business) along with Sean Parker, famous for co-founding Plaxo and for his early involvement with Facebook and Napster.[8] The Causes platform enables users to create grassroots groups that take action on a social issue or support a specific non-profit organization. These groups, individually called a "cause," are building blocks for most activity on the site. To fundraise, a cause must identify a registered nonprofit in the United States or Canada.[9]


Joe Green briefly served as the president of a company called NationBuilder which enabled politicians to create their own campaign websites with minimal technical knowledge.[10] In February 2013, Green stepped down from his role as President of the company.[11][edit]

In April 2013, a lobbying group called was launched with Joe Green as the president.[12][13] The group, with staff in both Silicon Valley and Washington, D.C. and with most of its contributors from the Silicon Valley area, aims to lobby the United States government for its vision of immigration reform, improvements to education, and enabling breakthrough technologies with benefits widely distributed to the public.[14][15] Prior to the launch of the group, a prospectus prepared by Green for prospective donors was leaked to Politico. Green admitted to some factual inaccuracies, outdated information, and misleading statements in the prospectus when questioned about it.[16] In September 2014, Re/code reported that Joe Green was leaving, and his departure appeared to have been forced.[17] A blog post on the website confirmed the leadership change.[18]


Green is an investor in and adviser to Asana, a company that enables workplace collaboration through a web interface.[3][11] In February 2013, Green joined Andreessen Horowitz as an entrepreneur-in-residence.[11]


  1. ^ Handley, Meg (2013-04-30). "Facebook's Zuckerberg Takes Heat Over Keystone, Drilling Ads". U.S. News & World Report. Retrieved 2013-05-03.
  2. ^ Weiner, Rachel. "Liberal groups boycotting Facebook over immigration push". The Washington Post. Retrieved 2013-08-07.
  3. ^ a b "Joe Green". CrunchBase. Retrieved 2013-04-17. Italic or bold markup not allowed in: |publisher= (help)
  4. ^ a b c Guynn, Jessica (2013-04-11). "Mark Zuckerberg's political wingman: founder Joe Green". Retrieved 2013-04-17.
  5. ^ "Meet the Rabbi Who Opened Facebook's Fourth Account a Decade Ago". Retrieved 2015-06-21.
  6. ^ a b "Meet Joe Green, who walked away from a $10b Facebook fortune". Fox News. 2012-01-31. Italic or bold markup not allowed in: |publisher= (help)
  7. ^ a b Kirkpatrick, David (2010). The Facebook effect: the inside story of the company that is connecting the world. New York: Simon & Schuster. ISBN 978-1-4391-0980-9.
  8. ^ Stephanie Strom (December 19, 2010). "Social Networks Meant for Social Good, but at a Price". New York Times.
  9. ^ [1], Causes Help.
  10. ^ Rao, Leena (2012-03-08). "Community Organizing Platform NationBuilder Raises $6.3M From Andreessen Horowitz; Causes Founder Joins As President". TechCrunch. Retrieved 2013-04-17.
  11. ^ a b c Olanoff, Drew (2013-02-06). "Joe Green Steps Down As President Of NationBuilder, Joins Andreessen Horowitz As EIR". TechCrunch. Retrieved 2013-04-17.
  12. ^ Constine, Josh (2013-04-11). "Zuckerberg And A Team Of Tech All-Stars Launch Political Advocacy Group". TechCrunch. Retrieved 2013-04-17.
  13. ^ Ferenstein, Gregory (2013-04-11). "Zuckerberg Launches A Tech Lobby, But What Will It Do Differently?". TechCrunch. Retrieved 2013-04-17.
  14. ^ Zuckerberg, Mark (2013-04-11). "Facebook's Mark Zuckerberg: Immigration and the knowledge economy". Washington Post. Retrieved 2013-04-17.
  15. ^ "About Us". Retrieved 2013-04-17.
  16. ^ Epstein, Reid (2013-04-04). "Mark Zuckerberg immigration group's status: Looking for footing". Politico. Retrieved 2013-04-17. Italic or bold markup not allowed in: |publisher= (help)
  17. ^ Swisher, Kara (September 19, 2014). "Joe Green Pushed Out at". Re/code. Retrieved September 19, 2014. Italic or bold markup not allowed in: |publisher= (help)
  18. ^ "Leadership change". September 19, 2014. Retrieved September 19, 2014.