Desmond-Hellman joins Sheryl Sandberg, the other female director, on the nine-strong board. Sandberg was appointed Facebook’s chief operating officer (COO) last June following widespread criticism of the company due to the board being made up of solely white men.
The latest appointment - which was announced on Wednesday - sees Facebook elect the chancellor of the University of California, San Francisco, to its board. The medically-trained Desmond-Hellmann also holds a number of other posts, including acting as trustee for the Howard Hughes Medical Institute and sitting on the board of directors at Procter and Gamble.
“I’ve always been drawn to organisations that do groundbreaking work,” said Desmond-Hellmann.
“Facebook has an ambitious mission and long-term vision of innovation that is transforming how people connect with one another. I’m proud to be part of a company that is serving such an important purpose in the world.”
The other Facebook board members are Mark Zuckerberg, Marc L. Andreessen of Andreessen Horowitz, Erskine B. Bowles, president emeritus of the University of North Carolina, James W. Breyer of Accel Partners, Donald E. Graham, chairman and chief executive officer (CEO) of The Washington Post Company, Reed Hastings, chairman and CEO of Netflix, Peter A. Thiel of the Founders Fund, and Sandberg.