Stephan Bonnell, the former General Counsel of the US Department of Homeland Security (DHS), has been announced as the new senior attorney for The Libra Association.
Since leaving the Department of Homeland Security in 2017, Bonnell has co-chaired the privacy-focused legal practice O’Melveny & Myers until he joined the Libra Association this month.
The association’s former general counsel, Robert Werner, told Bloomberg Lu he had decided to step down after it became apparent that he would have to leave an existing position on the Deutsche Bank Trust Co.
“Steve is a great lawyer and a great man,” Werner told Bloomberg.
Werner, a former director of the Financial Crime Enforcement Network (FinCEN) and a former senior attorney for Under-Secretary of the Treasury, was appointed by the Libra Association in May. His departure was not announced, and his name was tacitly removed from the CEOs’ list sometime in August.
Bonnell’s appointment comes two weeks after Facebook launched a new product division focused on “payment and trade opportunities.” The office is managed by David Marcus, co-founder of Libra. The department’s first mission is to offer payments in WhatsApp in select emerging countries such as Brazil and India.
The move comes on the heels of Brazilian regulators suspending WhatsApp payments in July after initial attempts for the feature. Lawmakers are citing concerns that Facebook may take control of the country’s payments sector.