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Google Inc. (GOOG) has tapped former congresswoman and veteran lobbyist Susan Molinari to oversee government outreach in the Americas, adding muscle to the Internet giant's political presence amid ongoing regulatory scrutiny.
Molinari, who is expected to start at Google next month as Vice President of Public Policy and Government Relations for the Americas, served as a Republican representative from a New York City district from 1990 to 1997.
She has also lobbied on behalf of a number of companies including Motorola Inc. over the years, according to public filings, and in 2010 started the lobbying and consulting firm Susan Molinari Strategies.
In 1997, Molinari had joined CBS Corp. (CBS) as a co-anchor of a morning news show, though she departed less than a year later.
"I am excited about Susan joining Google," Google Chief Legal Officer David Drummond said in a prepared statement.
"She's a true trailblazer and her enthusiasm for our technology and its potential to change lives will be a real asset to our team in the Americas," Drummond said.
Molinari's appointment was previously reported by Politico.
Google has attracted an increasing amount of scrutiny from government officials both in the U.S. and abroad, related to a number of issues including privacy practices and competitive behavior.
The Mountain View, Calif., company spent about $9.7 million on federal lobbying efforts last year, according to the Center For Responsive Politics.
Last September, Google Executive Chairman Eric Schmidt was called to testify at a Senate hearing on the company's competitive behavior, with the title "The Power of Google."
Earlier this month, Google won approval in the U.S. and EU for its $12.5 billion purchase of Motorola Mobility Holdings Inc. (MMI), a mobile phone and set-top box division split off from Motorola early last year.
However, regulators have indicated they will pay close attention to Google's use of Motorola patents obtained through the merger.
-By John Letzing, Dow Jones Newswires; 415-765-8230; firstname.lastname@example.org