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Netflix names former Obama national security advisor Susan Rice to board of directors

Susan Rice has withdrawn her name for consideration to be next US Secretary of State
Susan Rice speaks at the United Nations in 2012.
(Justin Lane / European Pressphoto Agency)

Susan Rice, who served as national security advisor and ambassador to the United Nations under President Obama, has been appointed to the board of directors of Netflix, the streaming entertainment company announced Wednesday.

Rice becomes the 11th member of Netflix’s board, which is chaired by Chief Executive Reed Hastings. Since leaving the White House, Rice has held positions in academia, including working as a fellow at American University’s School of International Service and the Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs at Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government

“We are delighted to welcome Ambassador Rice to the Netflix board,” Hastings said in Wednesday’s announcement. “For decades, she has tackled difficult, complex global issues with intelligence, integrity and insight and we look forward to benefiting from her experience and wisdom.”

Netflix leaders have not been shy about their political leanings. Hastings endorsed Hillary Clinton in the last presidential election and has publicly criticized President Trump as being “bad for America.”

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Ted Sarandos, who is Netflix’s chief content officer, has donated to various Democratic causes, including the presidential campaigns of Obama and Clinton.

Rice’s appointment to Netflix’s board comes after reports this month that Obama is in advance talks to produce his own Netflix shows. The Times reported that the shows would focus on subjects that were important to Obama and wife Michelle during their tenure in the White House, such as healthcare, nutrition and children’s health. Netflix hasn’t confirmed the negotiations.

Rice served as ambassador to the U.N. from 2009 to 2013, and was later named national security advisor, a role she filled from 2013 to 2017.

“I am thrilled to be joining the board of directors of Netflix, a cutting-edge company whose leadership, high-quality productions, and unique culture I deeply admire,” Rice said in Wednesday’s announcement.

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In January, Netflix named Rodolphe Belmer to its board. Belmer previously served as CEO of Canal+ Group and is currently CEO of Eutelsat, the satellite operator.

david.ng@latimes.com

@DavidNgLAT


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