Feb 22, 2021 - Technology

Google hires former Obama staffer to lead external affairs

Google has hired Anne Wall, a former Obama White House legislative staffer, as head of strategy and external affairs, the company announced Monday.

What's happening: Wall will lead strategy for the U.S. and Canada Government Affairs and Public Policy Teams, reporting to Republican Mark Isakowitz, Google's VP of Government Affairs and Public Policy for the U.S. and Canada.

Why it matters: Google is putting a high-profile Democrat in a key external affairs role as the Biden administration ramps up.

Between the lines: Wall will also lead engagement with third-party groups and advocacy organizations. Heading up strategy for the policy team is a new part of the external affairs role.

  • Social media platforms and big tech companies are under intense amounts of regulatory scrutiny in the U.S. and across the world. Google is under multiple antitrust investigations at home and abroad.
  • Previously, the external affairs part of the job was held in an interim capacity by Johanna Shelton, another Democrat who currently leads Google's White House and executive branch outreach.
  • Wall served as Assistant Secretary for Legislative Affairs at the U.S. Treasury for former treasury secretary Jack Lew and also previously worked for Senate Majority Whip Dick Durbin (D-Ill.).

What they're saying: "Anne’s impressive record as a problem-solver, policy expert and collaborative leader at the highest levels of government will be a tremendous asset as we continue our work to promote technological innovation and economic opportunity," Isakowitz said.

  • "I look forward to engaging with policymakers and advocacy groups on policies that ensure technology continues to help the widest range of people possible," Wall said.
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