Google Inc.’s head of global public policy, Andrew McLaughlin, is leaving the company to become deputy chief technology officer for the Obama administration, a person familiar with the matter said.
McLaughlin, who was Google’s first public policy executive, built Google’s presence in Washington, helping promote the Mountain View, California-based company’s position on topics such as online privacy, so-called net neutrality and copyrights.
McLaughlin’s departure highlights the connections between Google, the most popular Internet search engine, and the Obama administration. Google Chief Executive Officer Eric Schmidt is part of the president’s council of advisers on science and technology. Schmidt also campaigned for the government’s economic stimulus package, which was passed earlier this year.
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“We wish Andrew the best of luck and thank him for everything he’s done for Google during his time here,” Google said yesterday in an e-mailed statement. The White House’s press department didn’t have an immediate comment.
McLaughlin is also an emeritus fellow at the Berkman Center for Internet & Society at Harvard Law School, where he worked on regulation of the Internet and telecommunications networks. He also has worked on projects to expand Internet use in developing countries in Africa and the Middle East, according to a biography on Harvard’s Web site.