“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.”
Lockhart served as the 22nd White House Press Secretary from August 1998 to September 2000. During that time, he defended President Clinton during the impeachment trials (the Lewinsky scandal was gaining steam when he ascended to the office) and was press secretary during the Elián González affair.
Lockhart will manage the company’s Corporate, Policy and International Communications teams, according to a Facebook spokesperson we talked to. He will officially start on July 15. While he currently lives in Washington, D.C., he will be moving to California “as soon as family commitments allow.”
Lockhart brings a lot of communications experience to the table beyond his time as Clinton’s press secretary. He was an EVP for Bozell Sawyer Miller and founded Glover Park Group, a strategic communications firm with a big roster of blue chip clientele, in 2001. He was previously a broadcast journalist for CNN, NBC News and other networks.
Facebook has been in need of some communications muscle ever since the departure of former director of corporate communications Brandee Barker. Barker, who was with the company for four years, left the company late last year to start her own consulting firm for early-stage companies. Facebook was reportedly in talks with former Obama press secretary Robert Gibbs, but it looks like those talks fell apart.
We’ve dug up an April 2000 video of Lockhart, talking to the press about the Gonzalez affair. Let us know what you think of Facebook’s newest executive hire in the comments.