Ripple Labs has named a former economic advisor to both former President Bill Clinton and current President Barack Obama to its board of directors.
Gene Sperling served as director of the National Economic Council during the Clinton years. He was later made head of the economic advisory group under Obama after serving as an advisor to then-Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner. He resigned from the directorship of the NEC in March of last year.
In a statement, Sperling said that he looks forward to helping promote the Ripple network on a broader scale, noting:
“I am excited to join Ripple Labs and their mission to dramatically increase the speed and efficiency of cross-border payments through a common Internet protocol.”
“As a respected leader on economic issues,” Ripple Labs CEO Chris Larsen added in a statement, “[Sperling’s] experience and insights will be critical in building on our recent momentum gaining traction with financial institutions and network operators.”
The appointment follows a busy period for the company, during which it inked partnerships with several US-based banks as well as the global payments firm Earthport. The company’s 20th January announcement suggests that Sperling will play a role in Ripple Labs’ continuing effort to partner with companies in the traditional finance space.
Among the initiatives that Sperling worked on during his White House years were efforts focused on deficit reduction and child healthcare reform. He also served as a chief negotiator during budgetary talks with Congress for both administrations.
Sperling helped pass the Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act of 1999, which deregulated the American banking, financial and insurance industries and has been suggested by some to have laid the seeds for the housing boom and subsequent financial panic of the late 2000s.
Prior to serving as NEC director under Obama, Sperling was an advisor to Secretary Geithner during the 2009 US auto industry bailout and was also involved in economic and financial policy formation prior to his appointment to the NEC, according to his official White House biography.
Beyond his work in the White House, Sperling was chief economic advisor to former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s 2008 presidential bid.
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