Jared Kushner may be family to President Donald Trump, but he's also probably the right person to lead the government's new innovation project, said Recode executive editor Kara Swisher.
"They did put Jared Kushner there because I think Jared Kushner is someone that a lot of people in tech feel they can deal with. He's reasonable, he has some business background. So I think he was probably the right person to put there," Swisher told CNBC's "Squawk Alley" on Monday.
Kushner — a real estate and media magnate and Trump's son-in-law — will lead The White House Office of American Innovation, The Washington Post reported on Sunday. Kushner and other former business executives will try to run the government more like a business, and will focus on technology and data, with input from Apple's Tim Cook, founder Bill Gates, CEO Marc Benioff and boss Elon Musk, the Post reported.
But the involvement of Trump's family members in the new administration has stoked concerns about conflicts with his eponymous business empire.
"It does come down to Trump and his family to some extent. I think it's really important .... to have somebody like Jared Kushner, who is very smart, working on these things," said Walter Isaacson, president and CEO of the Aspen Institute. "But you kind of want more of a distancing and devolution from the all of the family businesses."
Many of the executives at Kushner's ear will be ones that have been most critical of Trump's policies. Immigration issues, in particular, have sparked protests and legal battles from technology companies.
"If they're going to cooperate they're going to be part of the solution and part of the problem, if there are problems," Swisher said.
Nonetheless, a Silicon-Valley style shake-up is overdue within the federal government, much of which runs on a Web 1.0-style operating system, Isaacson told "Squawk Alley." Last year, for example, a report revealed that the U.S. Department of Defense still uses floppy disks.
Regardless of what tech executives think of some of Trump's policies, they should be "appalled" at its technology, Isaacson said. While other administrations have tried to reboot Capitol Hill, Trump may have a shot at succeeding, he said.
"The Trump administration probably has more of an opportunity because they are willing to kind of blow up the bureaucracy. That's what they really want to do," Isaacson said.
Swisher said the administration does need more staff working on science and technology.
"I think it will be interesting to see which [executives] cooperate — if it's more than just window dressing," Swisher said. "We'll see if they actually do anything or if they're just one of these committees that talks about changing the way that government and never does — which always seems to happen."