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Mark Zuckerberg wants to meet more Americans

Facebook CEO vows to visit all 50 states by the end of 2017, raising speculation of political ambitions

Mark Zuckerberg Facebook Stock 2040

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg plans to have visited all 50 US states by the end of this year, as part of a New Year’s resolution to connect with more Americans following a divisive presidential election. In a post published to Facebook this week, Zuckerberg said that his personal challenge for 2017 is “to get out and talk to more people about how they're living, working and thinking about the future.”

“My work is about connecting the world and giving everyone a voice. I want to personally hear more of those voices this year,” Zuckerberg wrote. “It will help me lead the work at Facebook and the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative so we can make the most positive impact as the world enters an important new period.”

Zuckerberg has made a habit of giving himself personal challenges to start off the new year. In 2016, he challenged himself and his followers to run 365 miles throughout the year, and in 2010 he vowed to learn Mandarin. In the post published this week, Zuckerberg said he aims to meet people who are struggling to adapt to technology and globalization, adding that he will have to visit around 30 states to meet his goal. He also said that his cross-country tour will include “stops in small towns and universities, visits to our offices across the country, meetings with teachers and scientists, and trips to fun places you recommend along the way.”

The tone of the post has given rise to speculation that Zuckerberg may seek political office, though some observers are more skeptical. Unsealed court filings obtained by Bloomberg last month showed that Zuckerberg lobbied shareholders for an exception that would allow him to retain control over Facebook for two years if he serves in government; on Christmas, Zuckerberg announced in a Facebook post that he is no longer an atheist.