Baroness Joanna Shields
Baroness Joanna Shields OBE is a technology industry veteran and parliamentarian currently serving her second term as the UK Minister for Internet Safety and Security and an Under-Secretary of State. Previously digital advisor to David Cameron, Joanna was ennobled in 2014 and serves as a Life Peer in the House of Lords. Her ministerial responsibilities include eradicating harmful online crimes—including child abuse, child exploitation and cyber hate, combating online extremist recruitment and radicalisation—and ensuring safe and open access to the internet for everyone.
Starting her career in Silicon Valley, Joanna spent over 25 years building some of the world’s leading technology and Internet companies, including EFI, RealNetworks, Aol, Google and Facebook, as well as leading several start-ups to successful acquisitions, including Bebo, Decru and Veon. During her time as VP and MD of Facebook in EMEA, the platform grew to over 1 billion users. Previous to this role she served as a MD for Google in EMEA and President of People Networks at Aol, a position she assumed after leading the acquisition of Bebo, as its President and CEO, by 1 of 2
Time Warner’s Aol unit for $850 million.
During her time at 10 Downing Street, Joanna led a taskforce established by President Obama and David Cameron to combat online abuse and exploitation. To fulfill that mission, she created WeProtect (www.weprotect.org), a global alliance of over 70 countries, law enforcement agencies, NGOs, civil society organisations and technology leaders, developing technology solutions, national response systems and global cooperation to eradicate child abuse and exploitation.
Joanna received her BSc from Pennsylvania State University, and her MBA and Doctorate in Public Service Honoris Causa from the George Washington University. She was awarded an OBE for her work to support the UK’s digital industries and her voluntary service to young people.