Facebook has appointed both a new general counsel and a vice president of communications as the social media giant faces mounting regulatory and public scrutiny, mostly around its privacy practices.
Jennifer Newstead will join the company as general counsel, overseeing its global legal functions, the company announced on April 22. Newstead succeeds Colin Stretch, who announced in July 2018 that he planned to leave. He will continue at Facebook through the summer to help with the transition.
“Jennifer is a seasoned leader whose global perspective and experience will help us fulfill our mission,” Facebook Chief Operating Officer Sheryl Sandberg said in a statement.
Newstead brings deep government and private-sector experience to the role and currently serves as the legal adviser to the U.S. Department of State, where she oversees work on all domestic and international legal issues affecting the conduct of U.S. foreign policy. She was confirmed by the Senate in December 2017.
Before joining the State Department, Newstead was a partner at law firm Davis, Polk & Wardwell, where she had a global practice representing clients in cross-border regulatory, enforcement, and litigation matters. Earlier in her career, she served in other senior roles in government, including as general counsel of the Office of Management and Budget; as a principal deputy assistant attorney general at the Department of Justice; and an associate White House counsel.
She previously served as a law clerk for Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer and for Judge Silberman of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit and as an adjunct professor of law at Georgetown University Law Center in Washington.
Newstead said she is “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.”
VP of global communications
Separately, the company named John Pinette as vice president of global communications. He succeeds Caryn Marooney, who in February announced her plans to leave.
Pinette brings over two decades of experience working in communications across global health, finance, innovation and technology, most recently as the VP of marketing and communications at Vulcan, the philanthropic, technology, and business organization established by Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen.
Pinette also led communications for Gates Ventures, the private office and innovation lab of Bill Gates for five years; served as head of Asia-Pacific communications for Google; and held several product and corporate communications leadership positions at Microsoft. Pinette also served as the first head of external communications for hedge fund Pershing Square Capital Management.