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Jeh Johnson, Morehouse ’79, Named Uber Safety Advisory Board Chairman

Jeh Johnson, a 1979 graduate of Morehouse College who served as U.S. Secretary of Homeland Security under President Barack Obama, has been named the first Safety Advisory Board chairman for Uber Technologies Inc.

“From leading the country’s efforts to keep Americans safe to protecting the traveling public from the Ebola virus, Secretary Johnson brings global expertise that reflects Uber’s size and scale,” said Uber's Dara Khosrowshahi in a statement. “Johnson will lead the six-member board, which consists of law enforcement, road safety, criminal justice, sexual assault, and domestic violence prevention experts.”

The Safety Advisory Board of outside advisors was created “to bring new approaches, feedback, and expertise to Uber’s safety processes and technology,” according to the San Francisco-based corporation’s website.

“I took the position knowing there'd be many interesting issues,” Johnson told CNBC. “The new leadership team seems very focused on safety. It’s just good for business.”

The ride-hailing company is expected to add several safety features this summer: background checks for drivers, an in-app safety toolkit that would connect passengers directly with emergency personnel, and a way for riders to share trip information with “trusted contacts” during a trip to ensure that rides go smoothly.

Johnson served as the U.S. Secretary of Homeland Security, from 2013-2017, and General Counsel of the Department of Defense from 2009-2012.

In addition to his bachelor’s degree from Morehouse College, Johnson holds a Juris Doctor degree from Columbia Law School. Johnson is a partner in the law firm Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison LLP, and a fellow at the American College of Trial Lawyers.