Airbnb announced today that Jay Carney, Senior Vice President of Global Corporate Affairs at Amazon and former White House Press Secretary for President Barack Obama, is joining the company as Global Head of Policy and Communications. Jay will serve on Airbnb’s executive team and work with co-founder and CEO Brian Chesky to ensure that as Airbnb grows, we strengthen the communities we are in.
“Jay has worked at the highest levels of both government and technology, serving as a strategic counselor to the President, and at one of the largest tech companies in the world,” Brian said. “When you combine that with the two decades he spent on the ground as a journalist, he brings a deep understanding of the needs of multiple stakeholders. Jay is also a passionate advocate for community engagement, and is committed to ensuring that Airbnb is a force for good. He’s the perfect person to lead Policy and Communications at Airbnb.”
In his seven years at Amazon, Jay built and ran the company’s Global Corporate Affairs organization, reporting directly to the CEO. He oversaw Amazon’s policy and public relations, highlighting how the platform empowers its millions of small business sellers. He also directed its community investments—including disaster response, humanitarian relief for Ukrainian refugees and education programs for children and young adults from underrepresented communities. Prior to joining Amazon, Jay served as White House Press Secretary to President Obama from 2011 to 2014 and, before that, as Director of Communications for then-Vice President Joe Biden. Before entering government, he spent 20 years at TIME magazine, including as a foreign correspondent and as Washington bureau chief leading TIME’s political and policy coverage.
“The potential for travel to promote economic and social good has never been greater,” Jay said. “I’m thrilled to be joining Airbnb to help guide its work to connect communities and people through travel, drive economic participation, and help us discover that while our differences are real, they are overwhelmed by our similarities.”
In addition to his work at Amazon, Jay serves on the board of the Urban Institute, which does groundbreaking work in areas like housing affordability, racial inequality and health equity. He also serves on the board of Human Rights First, which assists asylum-seekers, calls out human rights abuses around the world, and tracks and combats violent extremism in the US and overseas.
Jay will start at Airbnb in September, reporting to co-founder and CEO Brian Chesky. He will be based in Washington, DC.