A longtime assistant to Biden, Hertz previously served as a director and associate general counsel for Facebook’s regulatory team in Washington, DC, until the end of September. The new Biden administration has come under fire from both sides of the political aisle over his appointment of former Big Tech employees at a time when the industry faces unprecedented antitrust scrutiny.
Hertz was appointed to the post as part of a wave of appointments at several Biden White House offices. In keeping with its commitment to build a diverse White House, the transition team noted that 61% of its appointees are women and 54% are people of color.
“Building a diverse team will lead to better results and more effective solutions to deal with the urgent crises facing our country,” Biden said in a statement. “Those appointed today will use their expertise and life experiences to help us better rebuild the country. Going forward together, there is nothing we cannot accomplish.
Hertz had been the general counsel for the Biden-Harris team since September, advising the president-elect on potential conflicts of interest. She also worked closely with Biden during his time in the Obama administration, serving as a deputy senior adviser in the vice president’s office.
The appointment of the former Facebook attorney as secretary of personnel came just weeks after a bipartisan group of 48 state attorneys general and the Federal Trade Commission filed antitrust lawsuits against the social media giant. The lawsuits accuse Facebook of engaging in anti-competitive business practices and seek to unwind the company’s Instagram and WhatsApp acquisitions.
Prominent Republicans, including Senators Ted Cruz and Josh Hawley, spoke earlier this month after Biden’s transition team appointed several former Facebook, Twitter and Google employees to administrative positions. GOP leaders, including President Trump, have accused top tech companies of being biased against the Tories.
In a Twitter post, Colorado Representative Ken Buck argued that Hertz’s appointment was a “bad idea.”
“We need to take action against Google and Facebook for their anti-competitive practices. Now is not the time to get comfortable with Big Tech, ”Buck said.
Hertz’s links to Facebook have also angered progressives in recent months. The left-wing revolving door project criticized Biden for appointing Hertz general counsel ahead of the 2020 election.
“The ultimate ethics arbiter for the Biden transition was a senior Facebook regulator until a few months ago, when the progressives and the Biden campaign are battling the right-wing agenda. from Facebook, ”said Jeff, director of the Revolving Door Project. Hauser said Politics in September. “Please make it clear that I think the Trump administration is incredibly corrupt and that I am not equating the two, but it is deeply disappointing.”