Koichi Kamoshida/Bloomberg

Lisa Jackson, former head of the Environmental Protection Agency and Apple's top executive on environmental issues, will become the company's lead on all policy initiatives, including the environment, education and accessibility. Her new title will be the vice president of environment, policy and social initiatives.

In a memo to employees, Apple chief executive Tim Cook said that Jackson's new role is in line with the company's dedication to "leaving the world better than we found it."

As part of her promotion, Jackson will also take over leadership of the company's global government affairs and public policy teams.

Since Cook took over at Apple in 2011, Apple has taken a more visible role in advocacy -- notably advocating for equality in the workplace. Cook has also been vocal about the need for privacy, saying in a speech last month at the Electronic Privacy Information Center that Apple is not in the data-collection business, and that privacy is a "basic human right." The firm also has a track record of bringing its technology into schools through government programs such as ConnectED. Jackson will take over all of these initiatives as part of her new role.

Jackson joined Apple in 2013 to head the company's environmental initiatives, shortly after resigning as administrator of the EPA. During her tenure there, she pushed through sweeping policies to curb air pollution and was outspoken on the need to recognize the effects of climate change. Since she joined Apple, the company has continued its efforts to make its facilities carbon neutral and reduce its impact on the environment.

She is one of Apple's top female executives.

"Lisa already interacts regularly with governments around the world, so she is a natural for this new role leading our public policy teams," Cook said, adding that Apple will continue to create more advocacy programs in the future.

"Lisa will be the first to tell you," he said, "we have a long way to go and a lot to learn."

The full text of the memo is below:

Team,

At Apple, we've dedicated ourselves to leaving the world better than we found it. And we are making real progress. I am proud and inspired when I see how our products and our people are improving lives around the world. This is what happens when we focus on putting our core values front and center in our products and operations.

Today, Apple is an industry leader in renewable energy, elimination of toxics and protecting working forests. As you know, Lisa Jackson joined us two years ago and we could not have come this far without her leadership on environmental initiatives across our company.

There's much more to do, not just on the environment, but on other issues we value such as human rights, education, and accessibility of our products to those with physical or developmental challenges. Apple can and will play an important role in each of these areas. Already, we are actively working with 114 schools in the U.S. through our ConnectED program. We are putting more accessibility tools in the hands of our wonderful app developers. And we have made our voice heard on public policy issues that affect us including clean energy and equality. These issues are critical not only to us, but to our customers, our shareholders, and in the communities where we all live and work.

So I've asked Lisa to lead our work in these areas and to take on a broader role as vice president of Environment, Policy and Social Initiatives. Lisa will apply her passion and her unique skill set to integrate teams across Apple and make our impact even greater. As part of her new role, Lisa will also take over management of our worldwide Government Affairs function. Lisa already interacts regularly with governments around the world so she is a natural for this new role leading our public policy teams.

You can expect to see us create even more innovative programs which drive progress on these issues and others we care about most deeply.

Lisa will be the first to tell you, we have a long way to go and a lot to learn. But, like to many things at Apple, great challenges inspire us to work harder and aim higher.

Please join me in congratulating Lisa on her new role.

Tim