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Facebook Hires State Department Lawyer As It Faces Regulatory Issues

Facebook Hires State Department Lawyer As It Faces Regulatory Issues

Facebook, Inc. (NASDAQ: FB) has poached Jennifer Newstead, legal adviser to the State Department, as its new general counsel, The Wall Street Journal reported.

What Happened

Newstead was appointed by President Donald Trump to act as the State Department's top legal adviser, according to WSJ. She will take over duties from outgoing Facebook general counsel Colin Stretch, who announced plans to leave the company in July 2018. 

Prior to joining the federal government, Newstead worked in the private sector, where she was a partner at Davis, Polk & Wardwell LLP and specialized in cross-border regulatory laws.

Facebook released a statement in which COO Sheryl Sandberg said Newstead brings "global perspective and experience."

Separately, Facebook appointed John Pinette as its new vice president of global communications. The executive will leave his post as vice president of marketing and communications at Vulcan, a private company co-founded by Paul Allen.

Why It's Important

Newstead's appointment to Facebook comes with some controversy, The Hill reported. The lawyer is credited with drafting part of the 2001 Patriot Act, which allowed the U.S. government to increase its surveillance activity and detention authority in reaction to the 9/11 terrorist attack.

What's Next

Newstead said in Facebook's statement that she looks forward to upholding the "responsibilities and shared values" of the Menlo Park, California-based company.

"Facebook's products play an important role in societies around the world," the statement said.

"I am looking forward to working with the team and outside experts and regulators on a range of legal issues."

Related Links:

Morgan Stanley Says It's Time To Capitalize As Facebook Monetizes Messaging, Instagram Stories

Guggenheim Upgrades Facebook As Investors 'Gain Comfort' With Content, Privacy Concerns

Posted-In: Colin Stretch Donald Trump Jennifer Newstead social media the hillNews Legal Media Best of Benzinga


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