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Baroness Alumna Joanna Shields To Speak At Penn State Monday

Penn State alumna Joanna Shields will speak Monday at 8 p.m. in Heritage Hall about her career path and current role as “The Baroness Joanna Shields, OBE, U.K. minister of internet safety and security and under-secretary of state.” It sounds like something out of a movie, but we swear it’s just her official job title in the United Kingdom.

Shields graduated from Penn State with a degree in public service in 1984 before earning her MBA from George Washington University. She then moved to Silicon Valley, where she became CEO of Veon, a video streaming technology firm. After leading companies like Bebo and AOL, Shields was recruited to be vice president and managing director of Facebook’s operations in Europe, the Middle East, and Africa in 2009.

When Shields spearheaded Facebook’s efforts to help London and Britain become technological hubs in Europe, then-Prime Minister David Cameron asked her to become the United Kingdom’s ambassador for digital industries and CEO of TechCity U.K. Shields was eventually promoted to “officer of the Order of the British Empire for ‘services to the digital industry and voluntary service to young people'” in October 2014, officially making her a baroness.

She was appointed to her current position in May 2015. She’s now responsible for “overseeing Britain’s efforts to combat online extremist recruitment and radicalization; eradicate harmful online crimes, including child abuse, exploitation and cyberbullying; and ensure safe and open access to the internet for everyone,” according to Penn State News.

The lecture is free for students and is co-sponsored by the College of Liberal Arts and the Student Programming Association.

About the Author

Elissa Hill

Elissa is a junior public relations major and the managing editor of Onward State. She is from Punxsutawney, PA [insert corny Bill Murray joke here] and considers herself an expert on all things ice cream. Send questions and comments via e-mail ([email protected]) and follow her on Twitter (@ElissaKHill) for more corny jokes.

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