Facebook names former MEP as first Brussels boss

BRUSSELS: Facebook has appointed a well-known German former MEP as its first Brussels office head.

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Erika Mann is to join the social-networking giant’s global public policy team at the end of this month as the company’s lead spokesperson for the EU institutions.
In a statement sent to Public Affairs News, the US-headquartered firm said Mann ‘will also be an important contributor to the Facebook public-policy programme across the member states of the EU’.
Most recently, Mann has represented the Computer & Communications Industry Association (CCIA) in Europe, as well as being on the board of the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) and active in a number of EU and trans-Atlantic think-tanks. She joined the CCIA – of which Facebook is a member – in December 2009.  
Prior to this she was an MEP for 15 years from 1994. Before going into politics she ran her own IT consultancy. Mann will remain a board member at ICANN.
Public Affairs Newsreported four months ago that Facebook had instigated a major public affairs hiring spree across Europe (PAN, June).
Facebook’s director of policy across Europe, the Middle East and Africa, Richard Allan, said: “Erika has been a champion for improving the dialogue between policymakers in Europe and the US for many years and is well known on both sides of the Atlantic.
“She was heavily involved in a wide range of legislation affecting the ICT sector in the European Parliament and chaired the European Internet Foundation. She brings all of this expertise to Facebook at a very significant time when the European institutions will be debating revisions to the Data Protection Directive – the key piece of privacy legislation in the EU.”
The CCIA’s comms director Heather Greenfield said the association would be starting an “extensive” search for Mann’s successor.

10th October 2011 by Ian Hall

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