BY PETR SVAB January 27, 2021
Facebook has hired Roy Austin, former Obama administration official and a member of President Joe Biden’s transition team, as the social media company’s vice president of Civil Rights and deputy general counsel.
Austin used to serve as civil rights prosecutor and supervisor in the Department of Justice (DOJ) before becoming a deputy assistant to President Barack Obama for the Office of Urban Affairs, Justice and Opportunity in 2014. In 2017, he went into private practice as a criminal defense and civil rights attorney at Harris, Wiltshire & Grannis. In November, Biden named him as one of the volunteers on the Agency Review Team for the DOJ in his transition. It’s not clear what will be Austin’s specific responsibilities at Facebook. The company didn’t respond to a request for further details and an attempt to reach Austin for comment was unsuccessful.
Austin’s appointment underscores the closeness of Facebook to the Biden administration.