WASHINGTON - Senator John F. Kerry’s communications director confirmed today she is resigning to take a similar job in Facebook’s Washington office, but everyone involved said it was the unique meeting of person and position - not Kerry’s own possible job change - that prompted the move.
Jodi Seth will become manager of public policy and communications in Washington for the social networking site, which has rapidly expanded its presence in the nation’s capital.
The Rhode Island College graduate holds a masters from American University and previously worked on the House Committee on Energy and Commerce with then-chairman John Dingell of Michigan. She joined Kerry’s office four years ago.
“We are thrilled Jodi Seth will be joining Facebook as manager of our policy and DC communications,” said Sarah Feinberg, Facebook’s director of policy communications. “Jodi’s deep experience on Capitol Hill, and her communications and public policy expertise, will be huge assets to Facebook as we continue to grow our presence in Washington, DC.”
Kerry is reportedly under consideration for a position in President Obama’s second-term Cabinet, either as secretary of state or secretary of defense, and any such appointment would require the Massachusetts Democrat to resign and disband his current staff.
It would also have huge political implications for Massachusetts, since it would spark a special election. Senator Scott Brown, a Republican and Kerry’s junior colleague, could be a candidate, after having lost a reelection bid last month to Democrat Elizabeth Warren.
Seth said in an e-mail to the Globe that the Facebook opportunity - not any talk about Kerry’s future - prompted the shift.
Facebook was co-founded in 2004 by Harvard College dropout Mark Zuckerberg and now has over one billion active users.
It went public in mid-May and has ramped up its activity in Washington as it has become a global force and faced privacy questions from members of Congress.
Kerry labeled Seth “the complete package.”
In a statement, he added: “Simply put, she gets it, and she sees the big picture. Instead of just chasing headlines, she acts creatively and methodically to leave a lasting imprint that helps really move an issues agenda, and that’s exactly what you want in a senior staffer.”Glen Johnson can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @globeglen.