Facebook Adds Former Clinton White House Chief Of Staff And Politico Erksine Bowles To Board

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After adding Netflix CEO Reed Hastings to its board a few months ago, Facebook has added President Bill Clinton’s former White House Chief of Staff Erskine Bowles to its board of directors. We’ve pasted the release below.

Bowles has an extensive history in politics, serving as President Bill Clinton’s Administrator of the Small Business Administration, Deputy Chief of Staff and his White House Chief of Staff from 1996 through 1998. Bowles was also a member of the President’s Cabinet and on both the National Security Council and the National Economic Council.

Marc Zuckerberg said this of Bowles in a release: “Erskine has held important roles in government, academia and business which have given him insight into how to build organizations and navigate complex issues…Along with his experience founding companies, this will be very valuable as we continue building new things to help make the world more open and connected.”

Bowles is also the president emeritus of the University of North Carolina (UNC) system and was most recently co-chair of President Barack Obama’s bipartisan National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform. Bowles is also a member of the board of directors of General Motors, Morgan Stanley, and North Carolina Mutual Life Insurance Company.

I’d imagine Bowles will help Facebook navigate political waters as a company. Facebook has been steadily deepening its presence in the U.S. government. The company hosted a town hall meeting with President Obama and has ramping up its lobbying efforts in 2010 and 2011.

Facebook COO Sandberg also has a background on politics, and was the former Chief of Staff for the United States Treasury Department under Clinton. She was also an economist with The World Bank.

As I wrote in my analysis on company boards this pas weekend, Facebook has been very strategic about selecting its board. Hastings adds his experience in taking a web company public and will also help Facebook navigate potential movie and TV show streaming opportunities. Bowles will help Facebook establish a deeper presence in D.C., and bring his economic knowledge to the company. Bowles joins Hastings, Marc Zuckerberg, Marc Andreessen, Jim Breyer, Donald E. Graham, and Peter Thiel on Facebook’s board.


Facebook announced today that Erskine Bowles, president emeritus of the 17-campus University of North Carolina (UNC) system and most recently co-chair of President Barack Obama’s bipartisan National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform, has joined the company’s board of directors.

“Erskine has held important roles in government, academia and business which have given him insight into how to build organizations and navigate complex issues,” said Mark Zuckerberg, founder and CEO of Facebook. “Along with his experience founding companies, this will be very valuable as we continue building new things to help make the world more open and connected.”

“Facebook has clearly emerged as a transformative force in the world,” Bowles said. “It’s no wonder given the talent Mark has put in place and the company’s focus and dedication to its mission. I’m really looking forward to getting to work and helping Facebook however I can.”
Bowles, who was president of the $8 billion UNC system from 2006 to 2010, also holds board positions with Morgan Stanley, Cousins Properties Inc., Norfolk Southern Corp. and Belk Inc.
Earlier, Bowles worked in the public sector for nearly a decade.

In 1991, President Bill Clinton appointed Bowles as Administrator of the Small Business Administration. Bowles moved to the White House in 1993, where he served as Clinton’s Deputy Chief of Staff. He was White House Chief of Staff from 1996 through 1998, and also served as a member of the President’s Cabinet and on both the National Security Council and the National Economic Council.

Bowles started his professional career at Morgan Stanley. He left to co-found the investment bank Bowles, Hollowell, Conner & Co. Bowles went on to create Kitty Hawk Capital, a venture capital firm, and co-found Carousel Capital, a private equity firm. Bowles is a graduate of UNC and received his MBA from Columbia University.

Along with Bowles, Facebook’s current board members are: Mark Zuckerberg; Marc Andreessen of Andreessen Horowitz; Jim Breyer of Accel Partners; Donald E. Graham, chairman and CEO of The Washington Post Company; Reed Hastings, chairman and CEO of Netflix; and Peter Thiel of Clarium Capital and Founders Fund.