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Facebook Taps State Department For New GC

Facebook has named Jennifer Newstead as its new general counsel, overseeing the company’s global legal functions. Newstead is taking over the position from Colin Stretch, who announced his departure last year. He will stay on at the company through the summer to help with the transition.

“Jennifer is a seasoned leader, whose global perspective and experience will help us fulfill our mission,” said Sheryl Sandberg, Facebook COO, in a press release. “We are also truly grateful to Colin for his dedicated leadership and wise counsel over the past nine years. He has played a crucial role in some of our most important projects, and has created a strong foundation for Jennifer to build upon.”

Newstead is currently the Legal Advisor for the U.S. Department of State, overseeing all domestic and international legal issues affecting the conduct of U.S. foreign policy. Before joining the State Department, she was a partner for law firm Davis Polk & Wardwell, where she represented clients in cross-border regulatory, enforcement and litigation matters.

“I’m excited to be joining Facebook at an important time, and working with such a fantastic team,” Newstead said. “Facebook’s products play an important role in societies around the world. I am looking forward to working with the team, and outside experts and regulators, on a range of legal issues as we seek to uphold our responsibilities and shared values.”

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo released a statement to thank Newstead for her service.

“Jennifer Newstead is an exceptional lawyer who has served the American people, our State Department team and the Trump administration faithfully as our Legal Advisor,” Pompeo wrote, according to CNBC. “Her expertise and sharp judgment on an array of critical foreign policy issues will be greatly missed.”

In addition, Facebook announced that John Pinette is taking on the role of vice president of global communications, succeeding Caryn Marooney, who announced her plans to leave in February. Pinette most recently worked as vice president of marketing and communications at Vulcan. Before that, he was in charge of communications for Bill Gates’ private office, and was at Google.

“John’s deep understanding of the technology industry, and his experience leading communications teams, will be invaluable to helping us communicate the work we do at Facebook every day,” Sandberg said. “We are also thankful to Caryn for her exceptional contribution to Facebook over the past eight years. She has been an inspiring and thoughtful leader to our communications team and countless others at the company. Both she and Colin will be greatly missed.”

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