Senior Consulting Fellow, Chatham House Connectivity Initiative; Founder, Politics and Government Division, EMEA, Facebook
Elizabeth Linder founded and led Facebook’s EMEA region Politics and Government division.
She was instrumental in building links between the social media giant and branches of government and politics around the world. Now heading her own consultancy, The Conversational Century, she aims to improve the conversation between the public, business, and political leaders. She is also a Senior Consulting Fellow at Chatham House where she leads the think-tank’s Connectivity Initiative and advises on the future of foreign policy in a connected world.
A California native, Elizabeth started her Silicon Valley career at YouTube, just after its acquisition by Google. Her work there coincided with the 2008 presidential election and the nascent use of social media and user-generated content to debate policy and express opinions. She worked with both of the main parties, who felt they’d lost their usual control over how stories were being told, to navigate this new environment.
Facebook approached Elizabeth to help them understand and further the company’s role in politics and society. She worked on the firm's presence around the world, promoting its potential in business and politics, and accompanying Mark Zuckerberg on his first European tour. Looking at how politics and diplomacy were failing to understand the new digital narrative space she helped start Facebook’s Politics and Government division. In London she established the division’s EMEA concern, working with parliaments, royal households, politicians and interest groups on their Facebook presence and on the soft-power influence of social media.
A communicator rather than an engineer, Elizabeth also found herself increasingly representing Facebook and the wider tech sector to other industries as well as governments. As such she tackles some of the criticisms levelled at the sector from fake news and tax bills to encouraging an insular, male-dominated work culture. She also looks broadly at the intersection of technology, politics, business and society from the effects of AI to the millennial workforce.