A top Mitt Romney adviser in 2011, Joseph Cofer Black, joined Burisma’s board of directors while Hunter Biden was serving on Burisma’s board.
As Erielle Davidson of The Federalist notes:
According to The New Yorker, Hunter joined Burisma’s board in April of 2014 and remained on it until he declined to renew his position this past May. Meanwhile, according to Burisma’s website, Black was appointed in February of 2017 and continues to serve on its board. The timelines would indicate that Black and Biden worked together at Burisma.
Additionally, as Davidson points out, web archives from late 2017 picture Black and Biden as directors on Burisma’s board.
Black’s resume includes serving as director of the National Counterterrorism Center. George W. Bush later appointed him ambassador at large and coordinator for counterterrorism, then Black served as a “special adviser” on Romney’s Foreign Policy and National Security Advisory Team in October of 2011.
When it was announced that Black had joined Burisma’s board, he stated, according to Ukrainian News:
I was impressed to learn that Burisma Group is the fastest-growing private gas producer in Central Europe. International projects where the Group is involved require a more thorough analysis and risk assessment, not only in terms of conventional risks – financial or political but also in terms of security. Additionally, in view of rapidly developing digital and information technologies, the Group needs to effectively deal with potential cyber-attacks and informational risks that may come about as a result of its work. My role will be to advise the Group with respect to its security practices and protocols, including on the most effective protections and programs to guard against cyber-attacks. Unfortunately, today many international companies are subject to data and other cyber-attacks that result in exposing and manipulating information; in particular false information that brings harm to global companies. I also believe my international experience in numerous countries around the world will be of use in shaping the Group’s international expansion strategy.
Ukrainian News asked, “In Ukraine, there have been some rumors surrounding Burisma Group, due to the comments from certain politicians and activists. What can you say? How do you plan to deal with this?”
Ukraine remains the Burisma Group’s strategic market and is a key element of its business strategy. It is here in Ukraine where Burisma plans to deepen its investment bringing more jobs, increased economic strength and more revenue to the state. I believe Burisma’s economic expansion will help Ukraine’s economy and improve Ukraine’s energy security. I will do all that I can to work with leaders and decision-makers and those trying to influence them of the positive impact a privately held energy company like Burisma can have on Ukraine.
In the U.S., privately held energy companies play an important and positive role in economic development in key states like Louisiana, Texas, and North and South Dakota. While elements of civil society may question the growth of some energy companies, I believe they should do so in a lawful manner and ensuring accusations are based on facts and evidence rather than rumor or innuendo.