Facebook on Tuesday announced new hires for its Washington policy and lobbying office, drawing high-profile figures from the White House and a privacy expert as the social networking site continues to grow — and come under scrutiny for its security and privacy practices.
The hirings have created a politically connected team in Washington, with inroads in both parties and years of experience on the Hill and in the White House.
Louisa Terrell, special assistant to President Obama for legislative affairs, will join the Silicon Valley-based firm in October as director of public policy. She helped the White House craft legislative strategy in the Senate. She is coming back to the tech world, having worked for Yahoo’s public policy office before joining the administration. She was a deputy chief of staff for Vice President Biden during his tenure as a senator from Delaware.
Privacy expert Erin Egan, partner and co-chair of Covington & Burling’s global privacy and data security practice, will join Facebook in mid-October. She will be senior policy adviser and director of privacy.
As Facebook comes under the microscope in Europe, where countries largely abide by their own privacy rules, the company has hired Erika Mann to lead its Brussels office and serve as the lead spokeswoman for E.U. institutions. Mann most recently represented trade group Computer and Communications Industry Association (CCIA) in Europe as well as being on the board of ICANN. She was a member of the European Parliament from1994 to 2009, representing the state of Lower Saxony in Germany.
The hires add to a slew of politically connected policy veterans joining the company. Faceboook’s chief operating officer, Sheryl Sandberg has worked at the Treasury Department and was a mentee of former Treasury Security and Obama Economic Adviser Lawrence Summers.
Last week, Facebook named Erskine Bowles, former chief of staff to president Bill Clinton, to its board.
Over the past year, the social networking site with 750 million users, has drawn Democratic and Republican expertise.
In June, it hired former Clinton White House spokesman Joe Lockhart to head its communications team. In May, Facebook nabbed Republicans Joel Kaplan, a former aide to President George W. Bush, to head its Washington office.
In June 2010, Obama White House staffer Marne Levine was hired to work on policy issues based in Washington. And in September 2008, Ted Ulloyt, a former counsel to President George W. Bush, was named vice president and general counsel.
“It’s imperative that we scale our policy team so that we have the resources in place to demonstrate to policymakers that we are industry leaders in privacy, data security and safety,” said Facebook spokesman Andrew Noyes.