Baroness Joanna Shields, OBE is a technology industry veteran and parliamentarian currently serving her second term as the Minister for Internet Safety and Security in the U.K.
Previously digital advisor to David Cameron, Shields was ennobled in 2014 and serves as a Life Peer in the House of Lords.
Baroness Shields’ ministerial portfolio is focused on eradicating online crimes and protecting citizens from harms committed on internet platforms that operate globally – including child sexual exploitation, cyber hate and abuse, extremist recruitment and radicalisation – ensuring an ‘open, free, peaceful and secure cyberspace’ as set out in the National Cyber Security Strategies.
As the UK government’s top negotiator on internet matters, she is responsible for diplomacy across governments and in partnership with the technology industry to develop innovative solutions and agree responsible actions that protect people from online harms and crimes in the UK and around the world.
Starting her career in Silicon Valley, Baroness Shields 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.
As Vice President and Managing Director of Facebook in EMEA, she oversaw the growth of the platform to over 1 billion users.
Previous to this role she served as a Managing Director for Google in EMEA and President of People Networks at Aol, a position she assumed after leading the acquisition of Bebo by Time Warner’s Aol unit for $850 million, where she served as President & CEO.
During her time at 10 Downing Street, Baroness Shields led a taskforce established by President Obama and David Cameron to combat online child abuse and exploitation, founding the WePROTECT Global Alliance, which is now supported by over 70 countries, leading technology companies, NGOs and charities united in a mission to eradicate online child abuse and exploitation.
Baroness Joanna Shields received her MBA and Doctorate in Public Service Honoris Causa from George Washington University and her Bachelor of Science at the Pennsylvania State University.
She was made Officer of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire in the 2014 Queen’s honours for services to children and the technology industry.