Snapchat hires new director of US public policy

Snapchat hires new director of US public policy
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The parent company of Snapchat is tapping a new director of U.S. public policy as it ramps up its lobbying operation.

Snap announced Monday that Gina Woodworth will head up the company's D.C. public policy team. Woodworth comes from the Internet Association, a Google-backed trade association that represents web companies including Snap, Amazon, Microsoft and others.

"From just 14 members at launch to nearly 40 today, Gina has helped Internet Association grow from startup to scale and expand the scope of our reach on behalf of internet companies across the country,” Michael Beckerman, President and CEO of IA said of Woodworth’s departure. “While I will surely miss her counsel, I and the IA team wish her best as she brings her considerable talents to Snap."

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Prior to the Internet Association, Woodworth served as staff director for the Senate Republican High Tech Task Force, where she was a liaison between the GOP Senate and tech community.

Woodworth will join the company’s D.C. office lead by Jennifer Stout, Snap’s global head of public policy.

Snap's policy efforts so far have been focused on cybersecurity and lawful access questions, according to the company's lobbying disclosure forms. Lawful access covers government requests for private businesses' user data to solve crimes such as terrorism and distributing child pornography.

Some technology companies say the federal government has gone too far in its requests for data and have fought to protect their users’ privacy. Google and Microsoft have gone so far as to sue the government over such requests.

Snap told The Hill that its other priorities include privacy issues, cross border data and law enforcement cooperation, and trust and safety issues. 

The company previously brought onboard new third-party lobbying firms to boost its D.C. presence.

The messaging firm’s moves come months after its record breaking initial public offering in March.

Snap still doesn’t have the lobbying presence of larger firms like Google or Microsoft, but has managed to avoid some of the bigger regulatory problems those giants face.

This story was updated at 3:42 p.m.