Uber Picks Up Interesting New Hire: A Former NYC Taxi Commission Official

Ashwini Chhabra, deputy commissioner of policy and planning at the New York City Taxi and Limousine Commission, will become Uber's first head of policy development and community engagement.

Cabbies haven't been exactly fond of Uber, but on Monday a top official at the New York City Taxi and Limousine Commission said he was joining the e-hailing app company.

Ashwini Chhabra, deputy commissioner of policy and planning at the agency, will become Uber's first head of policy development and community engagement, reports The New York Times.

"Uber is growing at an incredible rate, and Ashwini is joining us to focus on turning complex policy questions into smart answers and scalable solutions," said a representative. "We’re excited to have Ashwini joining Uber’s policy and communications team, whose ranks are comprised of a growing group of political and policy experts from a variety of backgrounds including campaigns, labor, advocacy, and government."

Uber has been steadily gaining influence in the political sphere. In the fall, the San Francisco startup hired its first D.C. lobbying firm after joining the Internet Association, a lobbying group for web companies. Its senior vice president of business, Emil Michael--named one of Fast Company's Most Creative People in Business in 2014--also had a stint in the White House as special assistant to the Secretary of Defense.

[Image: Flickr user alq666]

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