May 6, the Libra Association announced the appointment of Obama’s former under secretary for terrorism as its first CEO.
Stuart Levey served as an under secretary for terrorism under the administrations of George W. Bush and Barack Obama, focusing on the enforcement of all U.S. anti-money laundering and counter terrorist financing laws by the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN). In his most recent position, he served as the chief legal officer at HSBC.
Levey’s appointment continues a trend of Libra trying to make peace with regulators.
The press release quotes Katie Haun, General Partner at Andreessen Horowitz and Libra Association board member who led the CEO search committee:
“Stuart brings to the Libra Association the rare combination of an accomplished leader in both the government, where he enjoyed bipartisan respect and influence, and the private sector where he managed teams spread across the globe. This unique experience allows him [...] strike the right balance between innovation and regulation.”
Empowering billion people while keeping bad players out
In his statement, Levey emphasized the importance of empowering a billion people while preventing illicit activity:
“I am honored to join the Libra Association as it charts a bold path forward to harness the power of technology to transform the global payments landscape. Technology provides us with the opportunity to make it easier for individuals and businesses to send and receive money, and to empower more than a billion people who have been left on the sidelines of the financial system.”
Under scrutiny from the U.S. government, Libra has had to make some compromises to its original vision. Perhaps, Levey, who enjoyed bipartisan support while in office and who has vast experience in the field of financial regulation is the man who will move the project forward in the face of increasing competition.