Snapchat hires senior state department official Rick Stengel to deepen its ties with Washington

Rick StengelGettyRick Stengel at Time’s 2012 Person of the Year panel in New York City.

Snap Inc. has hired former state department official Rick Stengel, a company spokesperson told Business Insider on Wednesday.

Stengel previously served as under secretary of state for public diplomacy in the Obama administration, where he led the country’s public diplomacy outreach. Before that he was the managing editor of Time magazine and CEO of the National Constitution Center, a political nonprofit and museum in Washington D.C.

A Snap spokesperson said that Stengel has been hired as a senior advisor and declined to comment further. Heat Street first reported the news.

As the company’s most high-profile government hire to date, Stengel could help Los Angeles-based Snap deepen its ties with Washington. Snap is preparing for a hotly-anticipated initial public offering that could value its business at around $20 billion.

Snap has hired a number of former journalists over the past couple of years, including former CNN politics reporter Peter Hamby, who currently leads the Snapchat app’s small news division.

Stengel has been a sharp critic of state-run propaganda and fake news, the latter of which has plagued Snap competitor Facebook in the months leading up the U.S. presidential election.

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