Facebook recently announced that it will nominate PayPal executive Peggy Alford to join its board of directors, making her the first African-American woman to sit on the board.
The announcement comes shortly after former American Express CEO Kenneth Chenault became the first African-American to join the social media giant’s board last year.
“Peggy is one of those rare people who’s an expert across many different areas – from business management to finance operations to product development,” Black Enterprise reports Facebook’s CEO Mark Zuckerberg saying in a statement. “I know she will have great ideas that help us address both the opportunities and challenges facing our company.”
Alford, who serves as SVP of core markets at PayPal, is a Silicon Valley veteran who has held executive positions at many companies including eBay and Rent.com. Prior to stepping into her current role, she served as chief financial officer and head of operations for the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative, which is the philanthropic organization founded by Zuckerberg and his wife Priscilla Chan.
“What excites me about the opportunity to join Facebook’s board is the company’s drive and desire to face hard issues head on while continuing to improve on the amazing connection experiences they have built over the years,” she said in a statement. “I look forward to working with Mark and the other directors as the company builds new and inspiring ways to help people connect and build community.”
While Facebook’s efforts to diversify its board are a step in the right direction, civil rights leader Rev. Jesse Jackson tells USA Today that the Black board members now have a responsibility to speak up and out on the issues that impact the Black community.
“They must review its civil rights policy, social justice policy and the pathway for growth in the company,” he said.