Stevan Bunnel, former general counsel for the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS), has been revealed as the Libra Association’s new leading lawyer.
Since leaving the Homeland Security Department in 2017, Bunnell co-chaired the data privacy-focused legal practice O’Melveny & Myers until joining the Libra Association this month.
The association’s former general counsel, Robert Werner told Bloomberg Law that he chose to depart from the position after it became clear it meant he would have to relinquish an existing position on the boards of directors for Deutsche Bank Trust Co.
“Steve is an outstanding lawyer and a great guy,” Werner told Bloomberg.
Werner, a former director for the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) and former senior counsel to The Under Secretary of The Treasury, was appointed by the Libra Association in May. His departure was not publicized, with his name quietly being removed from its list of executives at some point during August.
Bunnel’s appointment comes two weeks after Facebook launched a new product division focused on “payments and commerce opportunities” with Libra’s co-creator, David Marcus, heading the branch. The division’s first task will be introducing payments into WhatsApp in select emerging markets including Brazil and India.
The move follows the suspension of WhatsApp payments by Brazil’s regulators in July after initial trials of the feature, with lawmakers citing concerns that Facebook may be able to capture a monopolistic dominance over the country’s payments sector.