Trae Stephens, a principal at billionaire Peter Thiel’s venture capital firm Founders Fund, was appointed last week by Donald Trump to help lead the transition effort at the Defense Department.
Thiel, who made a $1,000,000 donation to a pro-Trump Super PAC, is Trump’s highest-profile supporter in Silicon Valley.
At Thiel’s Founder Fund, Stephens “focuses on startups operating in the government space,” according to his official biography. Before that, he worked at another Thiel-backed firm: Palantir, a highly controversial data analysis firm that is currently competing for Defense Department contracts.
“Trae was an early employee at Palantir Technologies, where he led teams focused on growth in intelligence and defense as well as international expansion,” says the biography.