Facebook announced today that Erskine Bowles, president emeritus of the 17-campus University of North Carolina (UNC) system and most recently co-chair of President Barack Obama’s bipartisan National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform, has joined the company’s board of directors.
“Erskine has held important roles in government, academia and business which have given him insight into how to build organizations and navigate complex issues,” said Mark Zuckerberg, founder and CEO of Facebook. “Along with his experience founding companies, this will be very valuable as we continue building new things to help make the world more open and connected.”
“Facebook has clearly emerged as a transformative force in the world,” Bowles said. “It’s no wonder given the talent Mark has put in place and the company’s focus and dedication to its mission. I’m really looking forward to getting to work and helping Facebook however I can.”
Bowles, who was president of the $8 billion UNC system from 2006 to 2010, also holds board positions with Morgan Stanley, Cousins Properties Inc., Norfolk Southern Corp. and Belk Inc.
Earlier, Bowles worked in the public sector for nearly a decade. In 1993, President Bill Clinton appointed Bowles as Administrator of the Small Business Administration. Bowles moved to the White House in 1994, where he served as Clinton’s Deputy Chief of Staff. He was White House Chief of Staff from 1996 through 1998, and also served as a member of the President’s Cabinet and on both the National Security Council and the National Economic Council.
Bowles started his professional career at Morgan Stanley. He left to co-found the investment bank Bowles, Hollowell, Conner & Co. Bowles went on to create Kitty Hawk Capital, a venture capital firm, and co-found Carousel Capital, a private equity firm. Bowles is a graduate of UNC and received his MBA from Columbia University.
Along with Bowles, Facebook’s current board members are: Mark Zuckerberg; Marc Andreessen of Andreessen Horowitz; Jim Breyer of Accel Partners; Donald E. Graham, chairman and CEO of The Washington Post Company; Reed Hastings, chairman and CEO of Netflix; and Peter Thiel of Clarium Capital and Founders Fund.