General Motors Co. has hired Missy Owens, President Joe Biden’s niece and a former Big Law attorney, as its new head of environmental, social and corporate governance.
Owens—the daughter of Biden’s sister, Valerie—most recently was director of government relations at the Coca-Cola Co., where she worked for about a decade. She held various federal government roles in the Obama administration and was previously an associate at Greenberg Traurig in New York.
The Detroit News reported Wednesday that the automaker had been bolstering its policy team in Washington to push for government assistance, including tax incentives, to attract consumers to transition to electric vehicles. The company is looking to accelerate production of electric vehicles and to restart production of its electric Chevrolet Bolt, which has been suspended in response to a massive recall.
Biden, as part of a plan to combat climate change, last year set a target that half of all vehicles sold in the U.S. be electric by 2030. GM CEO Mary Barra has pledged that the company will completely pull the plug on new gas-powered vehicles by 2035.
Owens worked as deputy chief of staff at the Energy Department for more than two years, and then moved to become chief of staff to the deputy secretary of the Commerce Department for a year. She left that position in 2012 and later was an advisory board member Zkiptster, which is an online management software company for event planners, before moving to Coca-Cola.
At Coca-Cola Co., she was director of public affairs and diplomatic relations, in New York, for four years then in 2016 became director of government relations, federal and diplomatic, for nearly five years.
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