Clinton Heavy Hitter Joins Facebook Board

Erskine Bowles brings government, banking experience

Facebook may have bagged a two-fer by adding Erskine Bowles, the former chief of staff for President Bill Clinton, to its already star-powered board of directors.

Bowles, who most recently served as co-chair of President Obama's bipartisan National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform, certainly knows his way around D.C., and brings plenty of the government expertise Facebook has been looking to add lately as it finds itself lobbying on privacy and other issues. But Bowles also comes with strong financial chops, the kind handy to have around for a growing company.

Bowles sits on several boards, including Morgan Stanley, where he started his career. He founded the investment bank Bowles, Hollowell, Conner & Co.; created Kitty Hawk Capital, a venture capital company; and co-founded Carousel Capital, a private equity firm.

"Erskine has held important roles in government, academia, and business which have given him insight into how to build organizations and navigate complex issues," Facebook founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg said in a statement.

Bowles is just the latest in a number of Washington insiders Facebook had added to its ranks. In June, Facebook added former Clinton press secretary Joe Lockhart as vice president of global communications.

But it's Bowles' connection with Morgan Stanley that has raised some eyebrows as Facebook heads toward an IPO. In a blog post, The Wall Street Journal's Shira Ovide speculates that Morgan Stanley may have just gotten a leg up in the fight to handle the company's IPO business.