Amazon (NSDQ: AMZN) is adding a power presence in the other Washington and a corporate governance advisor to its board: Jamie Gorelick, who served as deputy attorney general during the Clinton administration. According to an SEC filing, Gorelick was elected to the board Thursday.
Gorelick has been a partner at DC law firm WilmerHale since 2003 but remains plugged into government. She was on the 9/11 Commission and is currently on the Defense Policy Board at the Department of Defense; she also was on the CIA’s National Security Advisory Panel. She may be the most politically polarizing member of Amazon’s board — the mention of her name in some circles raises instant venom with the Clinton-Defense-Justice combo providing plenty of fodder for conspiracy theorists and her presence could be a lightening rod for critics.
At WilmerHale, she heads the groups responsible for defense, government contracts and public policy. She’s also part of the wonderfully titled “litigation/controversy” department. Gorelick’s expertise as a litigator should be of use to Jeff Bezos as the company struggles with its efforts to expand its physical presence while maintaining the competitive tax advantage over bricks-and-mortar stores by keeping sales tax out of the mix. Amazon also has patent issues and other legal areas where someone like Gorelick would come in handy.
Gorelick follows Blake Krikorian as an Amazon advisor. The Sling Media founder joined the board last September.