Facebook Bulks Up D.C. Office

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Facebook is once again expanding its Washington office and bringing on two officials from the administration of former President George W. Bush.

Joel Kaplan, who served as deputy chief of staff to Bush, will be joining the social networking service on June 13 as vice president of public policy and will head Facebook's Washington office. Kaplan will be coming to Facebook from Energy Future Holdings, where he has served as executive vice president overseeing the firm's public policy and external affairs.

Myriah Jordan, who worked in the Bush administration's Office of the Chief of Staff, will be joining Facebook in Washington on June 6 to help lead Facebook's congressional lobbying as a policy manager. She was most recently general counsel to Sen. Richard Burr, R-N.C.

"It's imperative that we scale our policy team so that we have the resources in place to demonstrate to policymakers that we are industry leaders in privacy, data security and safety," said Facebook spokesman Andrew Noyes.

Former Republican National Committee Chairman Ed Gillespie, who worked as a counselor to Bush in the last year and a half of his administration, said Kaplan will prove to be a "real asset" for Facebook and has good relations with both Republicans and Democrats.

"They have some big issues ... and having someone of Joel's gravitas and stature is important for them right now," Gillespie said in an interview with Tech Daily Dose.

Some of the issues the company is grappling with include concerns voiced by several lawmakers over the social networking site's privacy practices. Facebook also is recovering from a public relations blunder when it was revealed recently that it hired a public relations firm to try to plant negative stories about rival Google in the media.

Cathie Martin, who has been heading Facebook's congressional lobbying efforts, has requested a leave of absence from the company to deal with personal matters and will be leaving early next month, Facebook said. Noyes said the company hopes she will return.

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Juliana Gruenwald is a special correspondent for National Journal Daily and a technology writer for National Journal's Tech Daily Dose

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