Ashwini Chhabra, deputy commissioner of policy and planning for the New York City Taxi & Limousine Commission, seen here at TechCrunch Disrupt in 2013.
Uber hasn't always had the best relationship with the new cities it expands into, but a notable new hire may help the ride-hailing startup change that.
Ashwini Chhabra, the deputy commissioner for policy and planning at New York City's Taxi and Limousine Commission, is joining Uber as its first head of policy development and community engagement, according to a report in The New York Times.
A spokesperson for the commission confirmed to Mashable that Chhabra is no longer with the organization, but did not indicate his next move. "He was a valued colleague at the agency and that we are sorry to see him go," the rep said.
Uber did not immediately respond to our request for comment.
The Taxi and Limousine Commission initially put up some resistance to Uber in late 2012, noting that it hadn't yet authorized ride-hailing apps to operate in city taxis. The following year, however, the commission signaled its approval for Uber and other similar apps.
This wouldn't be Chhabra's first time working at an up-and-coming business. In between stints working for city government, he served as a practice manager at Axiom in 2008, a legal services company that was less than a decade old at the time.
Uber now operates cars in more than 100 cities, but the startup has run into regulatory issues in a number of cities in the U.S. and abroad. Chhabra's hire could be useful in helping the company navigate these hurdles going forward.
Uber is reportedly in talks to raise a new round of funding at a $10 billion valuation. The company is on many peoples' short lists of tech companies that may go public in the not too distant future.