Joe Lockhart is used to answering difficult questions. As White House Press Secretary during President Clinton's second term--including the impeachment hearings--Lockhart weathered that media firestorm well before and may well be steering himself into a fiercer one.
News arrived Tuesday late afternoon that Lockhart would be joining Facebook's executive team as Vice President of Global Communications. Currently working as managing director and founding partner of the strategic communications consulting firm Glover Park Group, Lockhart will handle Facebook's corporate, policy, and international communications. He'll report to vice president of global communications, marketing ,and public policy, Elliot Schrage. "Joe's arrival brings new skills and greater depth to our incredibly busy team," said Schrage in a statement. "His experience building and running a press office at the White House gives him particular appreciation for the demands of a global 24-hour news cycle and the challenges of responding effectively to intense scrutiny."
Seeking out former top government officials and friends seems to be Facebook's modus operandi lately. Last year, the company hired former top aide to Larry Summers, Marne Levine, to run its Washington office. Earlier this year, there were rumors that Secretary Robert Gibbs would join Facebook in a senior-level communications role. But according to Liz Gannes at All Things Digital, "That didn't happen." It seems possible that Facebook chose the more controversy-seasoned Lockhart instead. With increasing scrutiny from Congress about privacy practices, waning American usership and an estimated $100 billion IPO this fall, they're going to need it.