Facebook snags two former Bush aides

The hiring of two former Bush aides is expected to help Facebook accelerate its lobbying and public policy efforts on Capitol Hill.

Former Bush deputy chief of staff Joel Kaplan has been tapped as the new VP of U.S. public policy, while Myriah Jordan will be joining the popular social networking site as a policy manager focused on congressional relations.

“At Facebook, we’re committed to explaining how our service works; the important actions we take to protect the more than 500 million people who use our service; and the value of innovation to our economy,” FB spokesman Andrew Noyes explained in an official statement obtained by Politico.

“This work occurs daily in Washington, at the state level and with policymakers around the world. It’s imperative to 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.”

Indeed, as Politico’s Tony Romm points out, the policy hires “come at a critical time,” with Facebook mired in potentially damaging debates over online privacy, child safety and cybersecurity.

As such, the social networking site has kicked off a high-level recruitment drive, hiring personalities like Marne Levine, former chief of staff to the National Economic Council, and Tim Sparapani, a public policy director who was previously involved with the American Civil Liberties Union.

Facebook has also clinched a deal with two external lobbying firms: Fierce, Isakowitz and Blalock as well as Elmendorf Ryan.