Baroness Joanna Shields OBE is tech industry pioneer and an impassioned advocate for the protection of children online. She has earned an international reputation for achieving breakthrough results to some of the most challenging issues of our time.
As the UK's first Minister for Internet Safety and Security, Baroness Shields broke down barriers to cross-border collaboration and delivered powerful outcomes in the fight against internet crimes and harms; specifically combating online extremism and hate speech and tackling online child abuse and exploitation.
Baroness Shields founded WePROTECT, an international movement bringing governments, law enforcement, non-profits, and leading technology companies together to end the sexual abuse and exploitation of children online. She currently serves as the Prime Minister's Special Representative on Internet Safety.
A visionary with frontline experience in technology development and innovation, her expertise in strategy and operations helped build and grow some of the best-known companies in the world, including Facebook, Aol, Google, RealNetworks, and Electronics for Imaging. She led several start-ups to successful acquisitions, including Bebo (Time Warner/Aol), Decru (NetApp), and Veon (Philips).
A persuasive voice on building national competitive advantage, Joanna Shields served as Digital Adviser to David Cameron and CEO & Chair of Tech City UK; a new model for economic growth and a blueprint that catapulted London and the UK to Europe's digital capital, supporting hundreds of entrepreneurs in creating new businesses.
In 2014, Baroness Shields was awarded an OBE for services to the digital industries and voluntary service to young people, and was awarded a life peerage in the House of Lords. In 2016, she received a Doctorate in Public Service honoris causa from the George Washington University, where she received her MBA in 1987.
Joanna Shields was ranked No. 1 on the 2011 "Wired UK 100," and was chosen by Computer Weekly as the Most Influential Woman in UK IT in 2013. She received the British Interactive Media Association's “Lifetime Achievement Award” and in 2017 Computer Business Review recognised her as one of the "10 most Influential Women in UK Technology".