Netflix Names Ambassador Susan Rice to Board of Directors

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Rice served under two presidents and was thrust into the limelight after four Americans died in Benghazi.

Netflix has added Obama administration official Susan Rice to its board of directors. 

Rice, 53, was U.S. ambassador to the United Nations and served for four years as President Barack Obama's national security advisor, which was when she was thrust into the limelight due to the 2012 attack on the U.S. embassy in Benghazi, Libya.

In the days and weeks following Benghazi, Rice appeared on TV news shows saying that the violence was a spontaneous reaction to a YouTube video that insulted Islam, though conservative media maintained that it was a coordinated terrorist attack and that Rice was blaming a video to make it appear that Islamic terrorism was largely a thing of the past under Obama. Senators John McCain and Lindsey Graham were among those who said Rice was participating in a political cover-up to boost Obama in an election year, and eventually the president acknowledged the attacks on Benghazi were pre-planned terrorism.

Four Americans died in Benghazi, an event memorialized in Michael Bay's 2016 film, 13 Hours: The Secret Soldiers of Benghazi, and some Washington insiders said at the time that Rice's role in the controversy may have cost her an appointment to secretary of state after the resignation of Hillary Clinton, as Obama considered her a top candidate until she withdrew her name from consideration.

“We are delighted to welcome Ambassador Rice to the Netflix board,” said Netflix co-founder and CEO Reed Hastings. “For decades, she has tackled difficult, complex global issues with intelligence, integrity and insight and we look forward to benefiting from her experience and wisdom.”

Rice was also assistant secretary of state for African affairs under President Bill Clinton; a former Brookings Institute fellow; and she was a foreign policy advisor to Sen. John Kerry when he ran for president in 2004. She is also a contributing opinion writer for The New York Times.

“I am thrilled to be joining the board of directors of Netflix, a cutting-edge company whose leadership, high-quality productions, and unique culture I deeply admire,” said Rice.

Netflix, the $124 billion streaming-media company, boasts nearly 118 million subscribers worldwide who have access to more than 140 million hours' worth of TV shows and movies, including original content like House of Cards, Orange Is the New Black, Stranger Things and, starting next month, a reboot of the 1960s show Lost in Space.

In midday trading, shares of Netflix were down 4 percent while the Dow Jones Industrial Average was up fractionally.