Twitter on Monday named Capitol Hill and FCC veteran Colin Crowell as its head of global public policy, expanding its presence in Washington, D.C., as social media firms fall in the crosshairs of debates over global speech rights and online privacy.
The San Francisco company announced Crowell’s appointment in a tweet.
General Counsel Alexander MacGillivray wrote Monday:
“@amac Very happy to welcome longtime user advocate @colin_crowell as @Twitter's Head of Global Public Policy.”
Crowell will join the company in mid-September. He runs an independent tech policy consulting firm, Crowell Strategies. Last May, he resigned as senior counselor to the chairman of the Federal Communications Commission after helping implement Internet access rules known as net neutrality. He spent two decades as a legislative aide to Rep. Ed Markey (D-Mass.) and worked on the Telecom Act of 1996 and other communications legislation.
Here’s a profile we wrote on him in May 2010.
Crowell tweeted his new job, saying, in less than 140 characters:
“@colin_crowell Looking forward to starting @Twitter in mid-September as new Head of Global Public Policy - eager to meet all my new colleagues :) #twitter”
Twitter’s expansion in Washington comes as the firm grapples with greater attention by the Obama administration’s advocacy of free expression in repressive regimes. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has touted the role of Twitter and Facebook as outlets for democracy protestors in Egypt and other regimes to organize and protest against their governments.In 2009 it gained renown for delaying a scheduled shutdown for maintenance of its site to facilitate protests in Tehran.
The company has also been under scrutiny by regulators for security and privacy. Last June, it settled with the Federal Trade Commission over an investigation into a hacking episode that exposed the accounts of users.
Last November, Twitter hired former Senate staffer Adam Sharp as a government liaison. Last July it hired former State Department and White House staffer Katie Stanton to lead global business development from San Francisco.