Marchio Irfan Gorbiano, Jakarta – President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo has appointed seven young people as members of his new presidential expert staff to give him innovative ideas in regard to the country's development in various fields.
Among the new expert staff members are education technology startup Ruangguru CEO and founder Adamas Belva Syah Devara, Amartha Fintech founder Andi Taufan Garuda Putra and Creativeprenuer CEO Putri Tanjung.
Other expert staff members include SabangMerauke co-founder Ayu Kartika Dewi, Kitong Bisa CEO Gracia Billy Mambrasar, social entrepreneur Angkie Yudistia and former Indonesian Islamic Students Movement (PMII) chairman Aminuddin Maruf.
Their ages range between 23 and 36 years old, with the youngest being the 1996-born Putri – who is also the daughter of media mogul Chairil Tanjung.
"I'm also surprised that [she] is still 23 years old," Jokowi said briefly upon introducing her and the other staff members at the Presidential Palace in Jakarta on Thursday.
Jokowi gave special shout-outs to Billy, a 31-year-old native Papuan who had won a scholarship and took his master's in the United Kingdom's Oxford University, as well as Angkie, who is a deaf and well-known for advocating for deaf people's rights.
"I have asked Angkie to be my spokesperson in social affairs," Jokowi said.
He said the young staff members would discuss various issues with the President and provide him with "fresh and innovative ideas so we can find a new way to take a leap to reach for advancement".
"They should also become the bridges between me and young santri [Islamic boarding school students] and young diaspora in many places across the world," Jokowi said.
Apart from the aforementioned seven, the President also announced Thursday the names of five other members, most of whom had worked with Jokowi since his first-term administration.
They include academics Anak Agung Gde Ngurah Ari Dwipayana and Sukardi Rinakit, economist Arif Budimanta, Indonesian Justice and Unity Party (PKPI) chairman Diaz Hendropriyono and legal expert and Indonesia Solidarity Party (PSI) politician Dini Shanti Purwono.
The PKPI and the PSI were among the political parties that supported Jokowi's reelection bid in April. (kuk)