Social-networking giant Facebook has appointed Chief Operating Officer Sheryl Sandberg to the company's board of directors as its first female director.

Her appointment to Facebook's board follows a wrath of criticism from institutional investors for having an all-male board. Sandberg, who joined Facebook as COO from Google in 2008, oversees Facebook's business operations including sales, marketing, business development, legal, human resources, public policy and communications.

“Sheryl has been my partner in running Facebook and has been central to our growth and success over the years,” said Mark Zuckerberg, founder and CEO of Facebook. “Her understanding of our mission and long-term opportunity, and her experience both at Facebook and on public company boards makes her a natural fit for our board.”

Prior to Facebook, Sandberg was vice president of Global Online Sales and Operations at Google, where she built and managed the online sales channels for advertising and publishing and operations for consumer products worldwide. She previously served as Chief of Staff for the United States Treasury Department under President Bill Clinton and began her career as an economist with the World Bank.

“The addition of Sheryl Sandberg as a Facebook director will not only bring diversity of thought and gender to the board, but also provides a role model for other aspiring women leaders working at Facebook and in other companies around the globe," Susan Stautberg, co-founder of WomenCorporateDirectors said in a statement.

Sandberg also serves on the boards of The Walt Disney Company, Women for Women International, the Center for Global Development and V-Day.

The rest of Facebook's board consists of Zuckerberg; Washington Post Co. CEO Donald Graham; Netflix CEO Reed Hastings; former White House chief of staff Erskine Bowles; and venture capitalists Marc Andreessen, Peter Thiel, and Jim Breyer.