Libra Association has a new lead lawyer

Stevan Bunnel, former chief adviser to the US Department of Homeland Security (DHS), has been named the Libra Association's new chief lawyer.

Since leaving the Department of Homeland Security in 2017, Bunnell has co-chaired the O'Melveny & Myers legal practice focusing on personal data protection. Now, this month, he joined the ranks of the Libra Association.

Former legal counsel for the association, Robert Werner told Bloomberg Law that he had decided to step down after it became clear that he would have to resign from his position on the board of Deutsche Bank Trust Co.

"Steve is an outstanding lawyer and a great man," Werner told Bloomberg.

Werner, former director of the Financial Crime Enforcement Network (FinCEN) and former senior advisor to the Undersecretary of the Treasury, was appointed by the Libra Association in May. His departure was not publicized and his name was quietly removed from the board of directors in August.

Bunnel's appointment comes two weeks after a new product division focused on "Payments & Trade" was launched on Facebook, co-created by David Marcus, who heads the division. The division's first task will be to introduce payments to WhatsApp in select emerging markets, including Brazil and India.

The move follows the suspension of WhatsApp payments by Brazilian regulators in July after initial testing of the feature. Lawmakers are citing concerns that Facebook may be able to gain a monopoly over the country's payments sector.