Stevan Bunnel, a former U.S. Homeland Security Department general counsel, has come in as Libra Association’s top lawyer. Since he left the Homeland Security Department in 2017, Bunnell has acted in the role of a co-chair of the data privacy-focused legal practice O’Melveny & Myers. He worked there until he joined the Libra Association this August.
Robert Werner, the association’s former general counsel, told Bloomberg Law that he decided to leave after he discovered that he would have to relinquish his position on the boards of directors for Deutsche Bank Trust Co.
“Steve is an outstanding lawyer and a great guy.”
Werner is a former senior counsel to The Under Secretary of The Treasury and former director for the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN). He joined the Libra Association in May. His departure was not made public. His name was quietly removed from the list of executives at some point in August.
Bunnel’s appointment comes two weeks after Facebook unveiled a new product division that will focus on commerce and payments opportunities. David Marcus, Libra’s co-creator will head the new branch. Their first task will be to introduce payments into WhatsApp successfully in select emerging markets including India and Brazil.
This move comes after the suspension of WhatsApp payments by Brazilian regulators in July after initial trials of the feature. Lawmakers cited concerns that Facebook can capture a monopolistic dominance over the country’s payments industry.