The Libra Association, the governing body that will oversee Facebook’s proposed cryptocurrency, has appointed its first CEO, Stuart Levey, a former US anti-terrorism official who has been the chief legal officer at HSBC since 2012.
Levey is expected to gradually assume the responsibilities of his chief executive role after the now 23-member organization has recently reviewed a charter that dictates the structure of the management and set to appoint a board of directors.
Prior to HSBC, Levey, 50, served at the US Department of the Treasury within its terrorism and financial intelligence from 2004 to 2011. He graduated from Harvard in 1986 and Harvard Law School in 1989.
“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. I look forward to working closely with governments, regulators, and all of our stakeholders to realize this vision,” said Levey.
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Earlier in his career, he was a clerk on the US Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit, before joining Washington law firm Miller, Cassidy, Larroca & Lewin LLP (which merged into Baker Botts LLP), where he worked for 11 years. In 2001, he joined the Department of Justice, where he served as the Principal Associate Deputy Attorney General.
Levey joins the Libra Association amidst international debate over Facebook’s much-anticipated cryptocurrency. Central bankers around the world have also issued warnings to the social giant over its digital currency ambitions.
The group has been plagued by high-profile departures, including PayPal, Mastercard, eBay, Stripe, and others that have pulled out of the coalition of companies involved in a Facebook-led initiative. Other key partners that signed on earlier this summer to pursue a global cryptocurrency project were reportedly reconsidering their involvement.
“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 to bring a wealth of knowledge in banking, finance, regulatory policy and national security to the Association and strike the right balance between innovation and regulation,” said Katie Haun, General Partner at Andreessen Horowitz and Libra Association board member who led the CEO search committee.