Elizabeth Linder's meteoric career spans the heartbeat of the Silicon Valley, where technology changes the world; dozens of parliaments and boardrooms around the globe, where leadership decisions change the world; and the back alleys of metropolitan centers, where civil society leaders agitate for change. When it comes to the intersection of social media and society, Elizabeth has seen it all. And she's articulate and thoughtful enough not only to tell the tales, but to inspire us to make the world a better place as a result.
Elizabeth began her career at Google and YouTube in 2007, the very year that the connected web first splashed onto the national political scene in the United States. But it's not just elections and campaigns that changed as a result. People started demanding different qualities in their leaders; trends in technology would influence trends in decision-making; spokespeople, PR firms, and the press would struggle to find their voices amidst the noise. In 2008, Facebook poached Elizabeth to join their International Communications team. As the company rapidly grew around the small team of people who still remember Facebook's original offices in downtown Palo Alto, Elizabeth worked with Mark Zuckerberg on his first tour of Europe, opened Facebook's first office in India, and in 2011 moved to London to found and build a new division which she firmly believed needed to be created: a division that would train every elected official, head of state, ambassador, minister, and civil society leader she could reach across the Europe, Middle East & Africa region. As the Arab Spring challenged the global understanding of connected technology and governance, Elizabeth moved from the Egyptian Prime Minister's Office to the Royal Hashemite Court, the Nigerian Senate to the British Parliament, advising leaders on how “social media citizens” are charting out a new world order and questioning societal norms. It is these challenges and opportunities that will either push us into more thoughtful, conscientious, and productive societies, or pull us back into the trenches of “us” versus “them.”