SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - Joe Lockhart, a former press secretary for President Bill Clinton, is joining Facebook to oversee the company's policy, international and corporate communications efforts.
Lockhart, who joins Facebook next month as Vice President of Global Communications, represents the company's latest move to enlist Washington insiders.
In May, Facebook hired two former officials who worked for former President George W. Bush, including Joel Kaplan, who served as Bush's deputy chief of staff.
Facebook, the world's No. 1 Internet social network with more than 500 million people, has grown in influence in the Internet industry as well as in the spheres of public policy and world affairs during its seven-year history.
The service has been credited with playing a key role in recent uprisings in the Middle East, helping protesters organize and communicate.
Facebook is also increasingly in the spotlight for its privacy practices, with some privacy advocates criticizing the way it treats users' personal information.
Lockhart was the chief spokesman and senior adviser to President Clinton between 1998 and 2000, according to the biography on the website of the Glover Park Group, a communications firm he co-founded in 2001.
"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," said Elliot Schrage, Facebook Vice President of Global Communications, Marketing and Public Policy, in an emailed statement.
Lockhart will initially work in Facebook's office in Washington, D.C., but will move to California, where Facebook is headquartered, as soon as family commitments allow, a Facebook representative said.
(Reporting by Alexei Oreskovic; Editing by Gary Hill)