Hint Water CEO Kara Goldin resigned from her position on the National Advisory Council on Innovation and Entrepreneurship (NACIE) over the weekend, saying she did not want her participation to be interpreted as support for President Trump’s agenda.
“I feel a deep obligation to our employees, our investors and our customers to distance myself from the sexism, racism, protectionism and hate that has defined the Trump administration’s first days in office,” Goldin said in a memo to employees.
Goldin was one of 30 private sector, nonprofit and academic leaders appointed to a two-year term on NACIE at the end of last year. The advisory group was established in 2010 with the purpose of providing the Secretary of Commerce with recommendations around policies and programs that support entrepreneurship and help cultivate a skilled workforce.
She said it had been her intent to fulfill her term regardless of the outcome of the presidential election. “I had committed in my mind to really be part of the administration so as long as we were still focused on entrepreneurs and innovation,” said Goldin in an interview with Inc. on Monday. “But I have really struggled with a lot of stuff that was coming out of this administration.”
Goldin, whose company is based in San Francisco, is part of a growing number of Silicon Valley executives speaking out against Trump and his controversial policies.
Last week, Uber CEO Travis Kalanick left his role on the president’s economic advisory council amid growing criticism and pressure from customers and employees. On Sunday and Monday, 127 Bay Area companies filed an amicus brief with the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit stating their opposition against the president’s executive order on immigration.
While Goldin was not asked by employees to step down from her role with NACIE, she felt a responsibility to stand up for her diverse workforce that includes immigrants, Muslims and LGBTQ people. “There are a lot of things being discussed right now that are really unsettling that effect my employees, said Goldin. “I didn’t want them to view me as being a part of an administration that was not really thinking about them.”
Since making the announcement, Goldin said she has received an overwhelming number of emails from consumers, employees, investors and advisors in support her decision.
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