Uber has picked up former Australian Competition and Consumer Commission chairman Alan Fels for its new global advisory board on public policy.
The new board, which will meet twice annually, will seek to have some role in the global debate on transportation issues and other policy areas.
“For decades, transportation policy has played second fiddle to the likes of the economy, education and healthcare, yet transportation is key to all these areas of public policy,” Uber’s chief adviser David Plouffe said in a statement.
According to Uber, Professor Fels will be compensated with equity in the business.
Fels has some expertise in this area. In 2012, he chaired an inquiry into the Victorian taxi industry.
The board also includes Rachel Whetstone, Uber’s head of communications, who had previously held a senior role at Google and before that an adviser to the former British Conservative opposition leader Michael Howard. Fels will also join former US transportation secretary Ray LaHood and former European Commissioner Neelie Kroes.
The board could be critical for Uber which has had a troubled history fighting regulators and taxi networks across the world.
In Australia for example, NSW, South Australia and the ACT have legalised ride sharing services but in Queensland, there are rules for companies and drivers caught operating.