The Washington Post

Facebook names political veteran Erskine Bowles to board

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg prepares to speak at a news conference at Facebook headquarters July 6, 2011 in Palo Alto, California. (Justin Sullivan/GETTY IMAGES)

With its growth — and the accumulation of more than 750 million active users -- Facebook has encountered a slew of political and policy battles. It is grappling with different government rules on online privacy, government censorship, copyright and intellectual property protection, Internet safety and Internet access restrictions.

"Erskine has held important roles in government, academia and business which have given him insight into how to build organizations and navigate complex issues," said Mark Zuckerberg, founder and CEO of the privately held Facebook.  "Along with his experience founding companies, this will be very valuable as we continue building new things to help make the world more open and connected."

Bowles, appointed by President Obama to co-chair his National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform, also served as the head of the 17-campus University of North Carolina system between 2006 and 2010.

He joins Facebook board members Zuckerberg; Mark Andreesen, venture investor with Andreessen Horowitz; Reed Hastings, CEO of Netflix; Donald Graham, chairman of The Washington Post Co.; and Peter Thiel, an early Facebook investor and head of hedge funds Clarium Capital and Founders Fund.

Facebook also has recently hired high-profile political veterans to its government affairs, lobbying and communications staffs.

Last June, it hired former Clinton White House spokesman Joe Lockhart to head its communications team. Last 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. It named Ted Ulloyt, a former counsel to President George W. Bush, as its vice president and general counsel in September 2008.


Obama, Zuckerberg meeting highlight importance of Silicon Valley

Tech firms hiring former White House staffers

Adolescents part with privacy one quick click at a time

This story has been updated.

Cecilia Kang is a senior technology correspondent for The Washington Post.



Success! Check your inbox for details. You might also like:

Please enter a valid email address

See all newsletters

Show Comments
Most Read



Success! Check your inbox for details.

See all newsletters

Your Three. Videos curated for you.
Play Videos
Sleep advice you won't find in baby books
In defense of dads
Scenes from Brazil's Carajás Railway
Play Videos
For good coffee, sniff, slurp and spit
How to keep your child safe in the water
How your online data can get hijacked
Play Videos
How to avoid harmful chemicals in school supplies
Full disclosure: 3 bedrooms, 2 baths, 1 ghoul
How much can one woman eat?
Play Videos
What you need to know about Legionnaires' disease
How to get organized for back to school
Pandas, from birth to milk to mom