Ford adds former Obama aide as chief policy officer, general counsel

DETROIT — Ford Motor Co. on Wednesday said it will hire Steven Croley, a former U.S. federal lawyer and aide to former President Barack Obama, to become its chief policy officer and general counsel effective July 12.

John Mellen, Ford’s current general counsel who postponed his retirement a year ago, will step down effective Sept. 1 following a transition period, the company said.

Croley, 55, will report to CEO Jim Farley and work closely with Jon Huntsman, a Ford board member who in April was named to the new senior advisory position of vice chairman, policy.

“Steve has deep leadership experience at the intersection of law and policy and will add strength to our terrific legal, government relations and sustainability teams,” Farley said in a statement. “His background will be invaluable as we partner with governments and others to speed development of breakthrough products and services that help give more people the freedom to move and pursue their dreams.”

Croley will oversee a team that includes Mitch Bainwol, Ford’s chief government relations officer, and Bob Holycross, vice president, sustainability, environment and safety engineering. Also reporting to Croley will be Rebecca Pagani, a former Amazon employee who will become Ford’s chief privacy officer effective July 12.

Croley most recently was a partner at Latham & Watkins, a Washington-based law firm. He previously was general counsel for the U.S. Department of Energy and held multiple roles in the Obama administration, including special assistant to the president for regulatory policy as well as deputy counsel overseeing legal policy.

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