Facebook on Tuesday announced that it had hired Greg Maurer, formerly Rep. John Boehner’s aide, to join its DC office.
“Greg Maurer will join our team in April as Director, Public Policy, leading House outreach efforts with Chris Herndon, Manager, Public Policy,” Facebook wrote in an update on its Washington, D.C. page, noting that the news of the hire was originally broken by Beltway news outlets.
Hours earlier, Facebook announced on its page that it had hired Susan Gonzales to become the company’s Head of Community Engagement. Gonzales is Vice Chairperson of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus Institute and sits on Interior Secretary Ken Salazar’s Task Force for the Partnership for American Great Outdoors.
Although based out of Facebook’s Menlo Park, CA headquarters, Gonazles will report to the Facebook D.C. office and “serve as liaison to key members of Congress,” according to a statement provided by Facebook to TPM.
“Susan is already a familiar face at Facebook HQ and in DC, since she’s been working with us as a fulltime consultant since August.”
In another Facebook statement provided for Maurer, the company candidly reveals that it is trying to grow its DC office:
“At Facebook, we’re committed to explaining how our service works; the important actions we take to protect the more than 845 million people who use our service; and the value of innovation to our economy. It’s imperative that we scale our team in Washington so that we have the resources in place to demonstrate to policymakers that we are industry leaders in privacy, security and safety.”
In essence, Facebook appears to be bolstering its lobbying and political outreach forces in the wake of increased regulatory scrutiny of digital privacy. Though Google is currently the company that’s in the most hot water, reportedly the subject of a new Federal Trade Commission probe, Facebook appears to be taking preventive measures to avoid a similar fate.
Facebook, after all, was recently called-out by the Electronic Frontier Foundation, a digital rights advocacy group, for being the only major Web company absent from discussions about a universal “Do Not Track,” a button to allow consumers to opt-out of targeted Web advertising. Some 400 companies, including Google, have agreed to implement the button later this year. Facebook’s “Like” buttons are notably excluded.