Founder & CEO
Family Online Safety Institute
For the past 30 years, Stephen Balkam has had a wide range of leadership roles in the nonprofit sector in both the US and UK. He is currently the Founder and CEO of the Family Online Safety Institute (FOSI), an international, nonprofit organization headquartered in Washington, DC. FOSI’s mission is to make the online world safer for kids and their families. FOSI convenes the top thinkers and practitioners in government, industry and the nonprofit sectors to collaborate and innovate and to create a “culture of responsibility” in the online world.
Prior to FOSI, Stephen was the Founder and CEO of the Internet Content Rating Association (ICRA) and led a team which developed the world’s leading content labeling system on the web. While with ICRA, Stephen served on the US Child Online Protection Commission (COPA) in 2000 and was named one of the Top 50 UK Movers and Shakers, Internet Magazine, 2001.
In 1994, Stephen was named the first Executive Director of the Recreational Software Advisory Council (RSAC) which created a unique self-labeling system for computer games and then, in 1996, Stephen launched RSACi – a forerunner to the ICRA website labeling system. For his efforts in online safety, Stephen was given the 1998 Carl Bertelsmann Prize in Gutersloh, Germany, for innovation and responsibility in the Information Society and was invited to the first and subsequent White House Internet Summits during the Clinton Administration.
Stephen’s other positions include the Executive Director of the National Stepfamily Association (UK); General Secretary of the Islington Voluntary Action Council; Executive Director of Camden Community Transport as well as management positions at the Institute of Contemporary Arts (London) and Inter-Action. Stephen’s first job was with Burroughs Machines (now Unisys) and he had a spell working for West Nally Ltd – a sports sponsorship PR company.
Stephen received a BA, magna cum laude, in Psychology from University College, Cardiff, Wales in 1977. A native of Washington, DC, Stephen spent many years in the UK and is now has dual citizenship. He writes regularly for the Huffington Post, appears often on TV and has appeared on nationally syndicated TV and radio programs such as MSNBC, CNN, NPR and the BBC and has been interviewed by leading newspapers such as the Washington Post, New York Times and The Wall Street Journal, radio and in the mainstream press. He has given presentations and spoken in 15 countries on 4 continents.
Family Online Safety Institute
Emily manages communications and special programs for FOSI, as well as assistance in development strategy. Having spent ten years in online safety, she is passionate about the fast-moving fields of technology and child protection. Following years in both FOSI's US and UK offices, her most recent positions have involved research, communications, and program management with an international focus. Emily has consulted independently with various nonprofits and small businesses on press, social media strategy, fundraising and other projects.
In her academic career, Emily completed internships and work studies with various public relations firms in both America and the UK. She graduated from Kingston University London with a First Class degree in Media & Cultural Studies.
Chief of Staff
Family Online Safety Institute
Maria Conticelli is the Chief of Staff for the Family Online Safety Institute, where she contributes to creating effective organizational systems - including those related to culture, communication, staffing, and workflow. She collaborates with senior staff on membership, programmatic, and organizational strategy, and provides financial and administrative oversight. For more than a decade, Maria's primary focus has been in the non-profit sector, leading and building teams, managing day-to-day operations, and implementing effective strategies for programmatic success.
Maria graduated from Saint Mary's College with a bachelor's degree in Theater and Communication Studies, and she received a master's degree in Child Development at the Erikson Institute in Chicago. Maria also serves on the Board of Directors for Capitol Hill Arts Workshop (CHAW) in Washington, D.C.
Family Online Safety Institute
Jonathon Bridgeman is the Administrator at the Family Online Safety Institute (FOSI). He manages FOSI's finances and website, supports office operations, and contributes to FOSI's events and communications practices. Throughout his career, Jonathon has developed a passion for equity in education — a passion he has pursued with experience in the public sector and the non-profit sector. Prior to his time at FOSI, Jonathon worked in DC Public Schools' central offices, executing logistics for professional development events for teachers, principals, and other school leaders.
Jonathon studied English at the University of Mary Washington, with a concentration in creative writing. He had a significant extracurricular interest in theatre, and was the President of the Eta Eta chapter of Alpha Psi Omega, the theatre honor fraternity.
Family Online Safety Institute
Marissa Edmund is the Policy Coordinator at the Family Online Safety Institute (FOSI), working with the policy team to monitor emerging issues in tech policy and contribute her policy and research expertise to ensure the online world is safer for children and families.
Prior to joining FOSI, Marissa spent two years at the Center for American Progress as the Sr. Policy Analyst for Gun Violence Prevention focusing heavily on gender-based and domestic violence. Before that, Marissa was the Policy Coordinator at the National Network to End Domestic Violence where she was able to actualize her passion for family safety by conducting research, engaging membership, and educating lawmakers on ways to support survivors of domestic violence. Marissa holds a B.A. in Political Science from the University of Maryland Baltimore County (UMBC).
Program & Communications Coordinator
Family Online Safety Institute
Alanna is the Program and Communications Coordinator for the Family Online Safety Institute, supporting both communications and events planning. Her prior experiences focused on both media and education. Alanna has taught English and communications courses at both the high school and college level, and concentrated on the subject of media literacy education during her master’s program.
Alanna has a master’s degree in media studies from the Newhouse School of Public Communications at Syracuse University. She also holds undergraduate degrees in both Public Relations and English from Penn State University, and is a Fulbright alumna.
Family Online Safety Institute
Andrew Zack is the Policy Manager for the Family Online Safety Institute, supporting policy and research work relating to online safety issues, laws, and regulations. He works with federal and state legislatures, relevant federal agencies, and industry leaders to develop and advance policies that promote safe and positive online experience for families.
Andrew joins FOSI after five years in Senator Ed Markey's office, where he worked primarily on education, child welfare, and disability policies. Andrew studied Government and Psychology at the College of William and Mary.
Family Online Safety Institute
With more than ten years of experience in strategic communications and event management, Stephanie is a specialist in issue-based events. She joined the FOSI team to assist with their annual event programs and the 2017 Annual Conference. Stephanie works with a wide variety of clients to provide event planning, project management & logistical support. Prior to becoming a consultant, Stephanie led the team at CWA Events as Vice President. Throughout her tenure, she produced hundreds of events, ranging from corporate conferences with The Wall Street Journal and General Electric, to international summits with Conservation International and the State of Qatar.
Family Online Safety Institute/Charlotte Aynsley Digital Consultants
Charlotte has a broad range of experience in the field of digital safeguarding - for 10 years she led Becta’s advice and support to Government, local authorities and schools on keeping children safe online. She also worked with Dr Tanya Byron on her review of Safer Children in a Digital World - leading the implementation and co-ordination of the education recommendations in the Review as part of the UK Council for Child Internet Safety (UKCCIS).
In April 2010, Charlotte became Director of Practice at the children’s charity – Beatbullying, where she was responsible for the innovative Cybermentors programme, a peer to peer online support service for children and young people. In 2011, Charlotte was seconded to NCA CEOP where she conducted a review of CEOP’s educational programmes and made recommendations to CEOP’s board on the future direction of the Thinkuknow programme which has been delivered to thousands of professionals across the country.
In 2013 Charlotte started her own consultancy – Charlotte Aynsley Consultants – Rethinking Safeguarding and she has worked on several high profile programmes and initiatives including the NSPCC’s Share Aware campaign, The It Starts With you online safety campaign from Walt Disney/Club Penguin, Parent Zone’s Parenting in the Digital Age programme, the Keeping Children Safe online safety guide and the Sexting in schools – what to do and how to handle it document.
She has spoken about digital safeguarding at several key national and international events including the UN and supported local authorities, the police, children’s organisations and international NGO’s in educating professionals, parents, children and young people on all things online safety related.
In 2016 Charlotte worked with UKCCIS and NCA CEOP authoring national advice on responding to incidents of sexting – Sexting in schools and colleges: Responding to incidents and safeguarding young people. Since the advice has been published she has delivered training to over 500 professionals supporting them in planning their response to incidents of sexting.
More recently Charlotte has been working with several high profile organisations including the National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC), NCA – CEOP, the Princes Trust, Girlguiding, The Mayor of London and the NSPCC to develop leading edge safer platforms and advice and resources for professionals working with children to keep them safer online.
Head of Digital Safety
Ethan Arenson is the Head of Digital Safety at Verizon. In this role, Ethan leads Verizon’s online safety efforts, including Verizon’s work to fight online child exploitation and the company’s work to promote internet safety through parental education and digital literacy. Ethan is also responsible for content standards across the company.
Ethan previously led the Trust & Safety and Law Enforcement teams at Verizon Media, home to Yahoo and AOL. Prior to joining Verizon, Ethan served as a computer crimes prosecutor at the U.S. Department of Justice, as cyber counsel to U.S. Senator Sheldon Whitehouse, and as a consumer protection attorney focused on internet-based fraud at the Federal Trade Commission.
Ethan holds a J.D. from the George Washington University Law School and a B.A. from American University.
Senior Director, Policy
Savannah Badalich is the Senior Director, Policy at Discord. Her role focuses on ensuring belonging for Discord's communities through content policy, responsible product development, and public policy. She previously worked at Twitter as a Sr. Product Trust Partner in Trust & Safety, where she led work to build healthy recommendation systems and policies. Prior to Twitter, her work centered around human rights advocacy, anti-violence organizing, and civic tech development.
VP, Civility & Partnerships
Roblox, FOSI Board Chair*
Tami Bhaumik is the Vice President of Civility and Partnerships at Roblox where she spearheads the platform's digital civility initiative and works to foster a global community of internet safety leaders to ensure good digital citizenship on Roblox. To establish a healthy and safe community, Tami is focused on providing kids, teens, parents, and caregivers with skills needed to create positive online experiences, in partnership with the world’s leading safety and industry organizations. At Roblox, she empowers platform users to self-govern and create a confident, resilient online community with the knowledge and tools to create positive experiences for themselves and others in the metaverse.
Vice President, Policy Strategy, Global Public Policy
The Walt Disney Company
Ellen Blackler is Vice President, Policy Strategy, Global Public Policy at The Walt Disney Company. She leads the policy strategy function in key policy areas including Internet policy, supply chain governance, human rights, environmental policy, consumer protection, advertising, food and nutrition and children and the media.
Prior to joining Disney, Ellen was on the Public Policy team at AT&T from 2003 to 2011. At AT&T, Ellen managed policy development on privacy, broadband deployment and universal service, access to ICT for people with disabilities, health care and tax related issues. She previously was Special Assistant to the Chief of the Wireline Competition Bureau at the Federal Communications Commission. During her tenure at the FCC she led the team drafting the FCC’s annual 706 reports on the status of the availability of broadband service, led a team which drafted significant new rules on the accessibility of telecommunications for people with disabilities and worked on other significant proceedings related to universal service issues.
She has also worked at the New York Public Service Commission and the New York State Legislature, where she handled energy and telecommunications issues.
VP and Counsel, Global Public Policy
Rudy N. Brioché serves as Vice President for Global Public Policy and Policy Counsel for Comcast Corporation. In this role he focuses on the development of the company’s public policy positions and legislative analysis.
Prior to joining Comcast, Rudy served as Legal Advisor to Commissioner Jonathan S. Adelstein at the Federal Communications Commission and Legislative Counsel to U.S. Senator Frank Lautenberg (D-NJ). In these roles, he focused on media and broadband policy.
Earlier in his career, Rudy practiced law as a commercial litigator in New York City and Baltimore, and served as Counsel to the Washington Bureau of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People. He also clerked for Judge André Davis on the U.S. District Court for the District of Maryland and Chief Judge Robert Bell on the Maryland Court of Appeals.
Rudy received a B.A. from Rutgers College, a J.D. from the University of Maryland, and an M.A. in Public Policy from Harvard Kennedy School.
SVP of Trust & Safety
The Meet Group
David Brown has spent 25 years leading customer care, and Trust & Safety for start-ups including online retail in the 90's, online schools in the early 2000's, then social networking and dating services since 2006.
Dave was "Director of Trust & Safety" of social media service myYearbook from its inception until its 2012 acquisition, and has been "SVP of Trust & Safety" at The Meet Group since. In this current role, Dave and his team are responsible for all things content moderation, user safety, payment, and customer care operations.
Amy Cano is VP, Legal for NetEase Games. Amy has over 15 years of practice in international cross-border transactions, media and entertainment. Before joining NetEase Games, she was the legal lead for China, Australia & New Zealand at WarnerMedia (now Warner Bros. Discovery). Amy has two B.S. degrees from MIT (in Chemical Engineering and Humanities) and a J.D. from Stanford Law School.
Child Safety Manager
Emily leads child safety public policy at Google, working to ensure that children have safe and enriching online experiences. Prior to joining Google, she led the policy team at Thorn, a tech-focused nonprofit committed to ending online child sexual abuse, establishing the organization as a sought after policy partner and thought leader both in the United States and globally. Previously, she served for seven years in multiple roles as a key aide to U.S Senator Jeanne Shaheen and worked as senior staff on several political campaigns in her home state of New Hampshire. Emily is an alum of the College of the Holy Cross and holds a Master's in International Relations from the Universidad Autónoma de Madrid.
Chief Brand and Communications Officer
Howard Clabo is Chief Brand and Communications Officer at Aura, a mission-driven technology company dedicated to creating a safer and more accessible internet for everyone. As CCO, Howard is responsible for communicating the power of digital wellness to improve consumers' security, while bettering the lives of those most vulnerable to online threats through education, engagement and other forms of support.
Prior to joining Aura, Howard led communications for Fortune 500 companies including Hewlett-Packard, Applied Materials and FedEx. As SVP, Global Communications at Hewlett-Packard, Howard led communications in support of the largest corporate turnaround in history, the largest corporate separation, creating two $50 billion companies, and the subsequent spin-off and mergers of HPE's Enterprise Services and Software businesses, creating the world's second largest IT services company and sixth largest software company. Howard is a father of two girls and holds an BA in Political Science from Tulane University.
Assistant Vice President, Global Public Policy
Sara DePaul is an Assistant Vice President for Global Public Policy at AT&T, where she is responsible for developing and coordinating public policy positions on privacy and consumer protection issues at the state and international level. She also leads the company’s public policy engagement on Artificial Intelligence, children’s privacy and online safety, health data privacy, and other emerging privacy and consumer protection issues. Prior to joining AT&T, Sara served as Associate General Counsel and Senior Director for Technology Policy at the Software & Information Industry Association and advocated the association’s global public policy positions on privacy, data security, cross-border data flows, among other issues. She previously worked at the Federal Trade Commission as Counsel for International Consumer Protection in the Office of International Affairs, Counsel to the Director of the Bureau of Consumer Protection, and as a Regional Office Attorney. Sara is located in Washington, D.C.
Corporate Counsel, Privacy
Matt Diaz serves as Corporate Counsel for Privacy at T-Mobile. He supports T-Mobile’s consumer products and provides counsel on children’s privacy matters, outbound communications, and various other privacy issues. Matt is based in T-Mobile’s Reston, Virginia office.
Prior to joining T-Mobile, Matt spent over five years in private practice counseling clients on a range of privacy, cybersecurity, and technology issues. He focused his practice on data protection compliance, data breach response, technology transactions, and mergers and acquisitions. As a law student, Matt served as a Policy Specialist at Connected Nation, law clerk at CTIA, and law clerk in the Office of the Chairman at the Federal Communications Commission.
Matt earned his juris doctor degree from The Ohio State University Moritz College of Law and bachelor’s degrees in Philosophy and Political Science from the University of South Florida.
Director of Public Policy
Eric is responsible for US strategic policy initiatives and government affairs for TikTok and the ByteDance portfolio of companies. He has more than a decade of experience working on regulatory & policy issues for technology and energy companies.
Prior to joining ByteDance, Eric was Head of North America Public Policy at DJI–the world's leading civilian drone company. During his tenure, he led DJI's advocacy efforts for regulatory and legislative issues on the federal and state level as well as internationally for Mexico & Canada. Before this, Eric was at POET-the sustainable energy company, where he built the state Government Affairs team and mandate. Earlier, he was Chief of Staff for Government Relations at Hewlett Packard, where he advised on the North American government affairs program.
Eric holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science from Lehigh University, from which he graduated Magna Cum Laude and Phi Beta Kappa and a Juris Doctor degree from the Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law. He is based in ByteDance’s Washington DC office and lives in Northern Virginia with his wife and two children.
Chief Technology Officer
Sven Gerjets has served as Chief Technology Officer (CTO) of Mattel, since July 2017.
As CTO, Gerjets is leading Mattel’s rapid transformation into becoming a leaner, faster and smarter high-performing toy company. He is responsible for all aspects of Mattel’s technology implementation, including shared technology platforms, analytics, software and hardware development and connected products. In addition, Gerjets also leads the Company’s initiatives around data privacy and security – he currently sits on the board of the Family Online Safety Institute (FOSI) to develop and institute industry best practices that keep our children’s digital data safe and secure.
Recognized as an enterprise technology visionary with a strong background in product development, data security and privacy, Gerjets has more than 25 years of experience leading technology organizations and improving business results across a broad range of industries, including telecommunications, higher education and biotechnology. Prior to joining Mattel, Gerjets served as Chief Product Officer of n.io Innovation, a startup that develops a real-time, distributed and extensible software platform used to integrate legacy technology with modern forms of computing such as AI and IOT. Gerjets currently serves as an advisor to n.io Innovation.
Before n.io Innovation, Gerjets held key leadership positions with Time Warner Cable, Inc., where he served as Chief Information Officer; Pearson, where he served as Chief Technology Officer and helped transform the quality of customer-facing education products; and DIRECTV, Inc., where he served multiple executive roles, including Senior Vice President, Information Technology, and led the creation of the company’s IT lifecycle processes that increased business value. Earlier in his career, Gerjets led IT teams and operations at Symantec Corporation, GeneticMedic and AT&T Wireless Services.
Gerjets brings a personal passion for revolutionizing legacy technology mindsets into one that is appropriate for today’s hyper-connected world. This has inspired him to build sustainable cultures of innovation throughout his tenure. In 2014, Computerworld magazine recognized his efforts at DIRECTV naming Gerjets as a top 100 technology leader. Gerjets has also contributed to many renowned publications, including WIRED magazine, InfoWorld and CIOReview magazine, discussing topics such as innovation, disruption and technology leadership.
Gerjets earned a bachelor’s degree in Business Administration from Kennedy-Western University. He later participated in Harvard Business School’s Advance Management Program.
Head of Public Policy and Consumer Affairs
Natasha Jackson, Head of Public Policy and Consumer Affairs at the GSMA, is responsible for public policy and regulatory issues arising from mobile content services. Natasha leads the GSMA's work on promoting responsible self-regulatory approaches to mobile content services. She was responsible for the development of a global code of practice on mobile spam and has recently developed educational toolkits for mobile operators outlining issues and good practice in the areas of age-sensitive commercial content and child protection. She also leads the GSMA's global mobile initiative against child sexual abuse content (child pornography). Natasha has a broad telecommunications background, having worked in the sector for over 15 years. She started her career at Cable & Wireless and has worked internationally across fixed and mobile business in both blue chip and start up environments.
VP and GM - Extended Reality
Tom leads a stealth portfolio company focused on Walmart’s presence in the Metaverse. A digital media and technology executive with a track record of building and transforming businesses, Tom held key leadership positions in diverse industries including energy, sports, media & entertainment, video games, and technology at startups as well as Fortune 100 companies. Prior to Store Nº8, Tom was Head of Global Strategy, Business Development and Investments at Amazon Games and Head of APAC Game Technology at Amazon Web Services. Prior to Amazon, Tom was VP of Global Production Operations and VP of Asia Games at Disney Interactive Studios. Tom also has extensive experience as an entrepreneur including as President of a video game company that was acquired by the Walt Disney Company, as CEO of a sports and entertainment company, and as Founder and CEO of a caused based mobile game company. Tom holds a B.A. in Chemistry from the University of Chicago and an MBA in Technology Management from Northeastern University in Boston.
Executive Vice President of U.S. Government Affairs
Patrick Kilcur is Executive Vice President of U.S. Government Affairs at the Motion Picture Association, where he oversees all government relations functions and policy agenda for the association and its member companies for the United States.
Prior to joining MPAA, Patrick served in the United States Senate as the Republican Floor Assistant for Majority Leader, Sen. Mitch McConnell. In this role, Patrick worked on behalf of the Senate Republican caucus in negotiating legislative and executive matters with Democratic leadership, and providing floor strategy and Senate procedure counsel to Republican Senators. Patrick started his professional career working in the office of United States Senator Arlen Specter as a member of his legislative staff in Washington D.C.
Patrick received his bachelor of arts from De Sales University, and served as Student Body President his senior year. He has been named an Honorary Kentucky Colonel and is a member of the De Sales University President’s Council. Patrick is an alumni of the American Council of Young Political Leaders (ACYPL), serves on the US Chamber of Commerce Committee on Taxation, and is on the board of the Family Online Safety Institute (FOSI).
Director, Innovation & Technology Public Policy
Josh Korn is the Director, Innovation & Technology Public Policy for Netflix, the world's leading Internet television network.
Josh works with governments and industry around the world to promote policies that support a competitive, open and dynamic Internet ecosystem with vibrant choice for consumers.
Josh is an expert on global protection of minors and ratings policy. His work includes leading efforts to receive approval from the Australian government to use a self-regulatory tool for classification of films and television series, a global first.
Prior to joining Netflix, Mr. Korn investigated anticompetitive conduct and mergers as a part of the Telecommunications and Media Enforcement Section of the U.S. Department of Justice, Antitrust Division.
Vice President & Associate General Counsel
NCTA – The Internet & Television Association
Joni Lupovitz serves as Vice President & Associate General Counsel for NCTA – The Internet & Television Association, where she works on policy and regulation involving cable TV program networks, media, consumer protection, and competition.
Joni previously served as NPR’s Senior Director, Public Policy, representing NPR and the public radio system before Congress and federal agencies. Before that, as Vice President, Policy at Common Sense Media, she led advocacy on children’s online privacy and connected classrooms.
Joni’s 14-year tenure at the Federal Trade Commission included serving as the agency’s Chief of Staff, Attorney Advisor for Commissioner Jon Leibowitz, and Assistant Director for Enforcement in the Bureau of Consumer Protection. She worked in private practice earlier in her career.
Joni holds a J.D. from George Washington University Law School and a B.A. from McGill University.
Senior Policy Manager, Digital Policy
Simon Morrison manages third-party content issues in Amazon’s U.S. Public Policy team. In that role, he works on a range of content policy and content moderation issues – including misinformation/disinformation, hate speech, liability, and Child Sexual Abuse Material (CSAM)—working with Amazon’s businesses on policy development and enforcement, and advocating externally on the company’s behalf.
Prior to Amazon, he worked for Google for 13 years, in London and Washington, D.C., focusing on a range of issues including intellectual property, intermediary liability and child safety.
Mike Pappas is the CEO of Modulate, which builds voice technology to elevate the health and safety of online communities. Mike’s work at Modulate ranges from developing new partnerships platforms looking to protect their players, monitoring industry and regulatory trends, and reinforcing an internal and external culture of passion, respect, and personal growth. Outside of work, his passions include philosophizing, video games, and creating experimental cocktails.
Danielle Platten is a global tech entrepreneur and former safety advisory panel member at Twitter, with more than 10 years experience of building innovative technology brands that help make the internet safer and kinder for all.
Danielle Platten has an award-winning background in corporate operations with HSBC, MBNA and Bank of America managing teams in the UK, India and USA, and multi-million-pound budgets and over 300 staff across multiple sites. Platten’s academic studies focused on Economics and Public Policy, Employment Law and Management Accountancy, sitting alongside my extensive expertise in strategic corporate governance.
VP, Global Public Policy
Sony Interactive Entertainment (PlayStation)
Cinnamon Rogers is VP, Global Public Policy for Sony Interactive Entertainment (PlayStation) where she leads the global team responsible for engaging with policymakers around the world. Cinnamon collaborates with government officials and industry to advance policies that support innovation in interactive and digital entertainment and promote safe online spaces where everyone is welcome to play. She has 20 years of legislative and regulatory experience working at the federal, state, and global level representing the media, tech, software and telecommunications sectors. Early in her career she worked in the House of Representatives, U.S. Senate, and National Telecommunications and Information Administration.
Senior Director, Global Public Affairs and Partnerships
Carl Schonander joined Tencent in September 2021 as Senior Director, Global Public Affairs and Partnerships. He focuses on trust and safety; data, intellectual property, games, and investment policy development, as well as in creating partnerships with stakeholders around the world. Before Tencent, Carl was Head of U.S. Regulatory Affairs for Global Digital Finance and prior to that served as Senior Vice President for Global Public Policy for the Software & Information Industry Association. Carl has also worked as a U.S. diplomat and specialized in trade policy, intellectual property protection and Internet policy. Carl holds a masters degree in intellectual property law from George Washington University, a masters degree in public policy from the University of Texas, and a juris doctor degree from the University of Stockholm.
Vice President, External and State Affairs
Jim Schuler has been with CTIA for the last 19 years. Mr. Schuler’s responsibilities include forming, coordinating and advocating wireless policy on topics of concern to CTIA membership, including critical issues involving taxation, broadband deployment, wireless verticals, and government mandates.
As Vice President of External and State Affairs, Jim has led the State Regulatory effort, Grassroots and Grasstops engagement on federal and state issues, Third Party partnerships and coalition building, Intergovernmental outreach, Accessibility Outreach and Online Safety.
As Assistant Vice-President, Jim lead CTIA’s efforts in developing and implementing strategies relating to minimizing federal, state, and local taxation of wireless services. Activities include: Developing and implementing a strategic plan to educate policymakers and consumers on the negative impact of taxes on consumers and network infrastructure; advocacy at the federal, state and local level; management of the Association’s tax efforts in coordination with CTIA membership; and integration of the industry’s grassroots efforts on state and local tax issues.
Chief Executive Officer & Co-Founder
Noam Schwartz is the CEO and co-founder of ActiveFence, a company that enables Trust & Safety teams to be proactive about keeping users safe from malicious online activities. ActiveFence supports tech platforms of all sizes as they work to stop online harms, including disinformation, hate, terror, and child abuse, across languages and content formats. Noam has over 15 years of experience in the fields of open source intelligence, security, and data science. Prior to ActiveFence, he founded and served as the CEO of Tapdog which was acquired by SimilarWeb, where he served as VP of Business & Corporate Development. Noam began his career as an intelligence officer in the fields of research and counter-terrorism in the Israeli military and holds an LL.B and an MBA from Bar Ilan University (BIU).
Director of Public Policy, Digital Safety
As part of Microsoft’s Digital Safety Office, Liz Thomas leads on Public Policy and Partnerships, focused on empowering every person to have a safe and trusted digital experience across Microsoft’s products and services.
In her role, Liz coordinates global engagement on digital safety issues, including on regulatory measures, and supports work to address illegal and harmful content online. She also works with policymakers, companies, and organizations to integrate multistakeholder perspectives on digital safety and drive digital safety initiatives.
Before joining Microsoft in April 2020, Liz held policy and legal roles in the New Zealand government, including at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade and the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet. Liz graduated from the University of Otago with Bachelor’s degrees in Arts and Law and has a Master’s degree in International Relations from the Australian National University.
Entertainment Software Rating Board*
As president of the Entertainment Software Rating Board (ESRB), Ms. Vance leads the non-profit, self-regulatory body for the video game industry in the United States, which includes the assignment of age ratings to video games and mobile apps, enforcement of marketing guidelines adopted by the video game industry and operating Privacy Certified, an FTC-sanctioned COPPA Safe Harbor privacy seal certification program. Ms. Vance is also the chairperson of the International Age Rating Coalition (IARC), a ground-breaking global rating and age classification system for digitally delivered games and apps that reflects the unique cultural differences among nations and regions.
Ms. Vance also serves as a member of the Board of Directors of the Academy of Interactive Arts and Sciences and was appointed to the National Telecommunications and Information Administration's Online Safety and Technology Working Group (OSTWG), which was established by Congress to make recommendations on the protection of children on the Internet through education, labeling and parental control technology.
Prior to joining the ESRB in 2002, Ms. Vance spent 18 years at Disney/ABC, with responsibility for the development of a broad range of new media and market initiatives. As Senior Vice President, General Manager of the ABC Internet Group, she oversaw the operations and strategic development of ABC-branded news and entertainment related web sites, and was also responsible for launching and/or managing several interactive entertainment and educational software publishing ventures, the direct response marketing of ABC programming and ABC's in-flight entertainment business.
Ms. Vance holds a B.A. in International Relations/Russian from Washington University in St. Louis, is the mother of two daughters and lives in New York, NY.
US Director of Public Policy
Gina Grandinetti Woodworth is U.S. Public Policy Director for Snap Inc, a camera company that has reinvented the camera to improve the way people live and communicate. She is based in Snap's Washington DC office.
Prior to joining Snap, Gina spent over 10 years working on internet and technology policy issues at two major trade associations in Washington DC, one of which she helped to build. Gina served as Senior Vice President of Public Policy and Government Affairs at the Internet Association, the US trade association representing major internet companies. Gina also spent several years on the Federal Government Affairs team at the Entertainment Software Association representing companies that publish interactive games for video game consoles, handhelds, personal computers and the internet.
Before her trade association work, Gina served as Staff Director for the Senate Republican High Tech Task Force, acting as the primary contact to the high tech community for 18 United States Senators and their staff.
Gina proudly served for 5 years as a board member and treasurer of the Global Women’s Innovation Network (GlobalWIN), a bipartisan organization highlighting the important role of women in innovation fields. She is a graduate of Dickinson College in Carlisle, PA and holds a BA in Political Science and Italian Studies.
Director of User Trust & Online Safety
Nintendo of America Inc.
Nicola Wright is the Director of User Trust & Online Safety at Nintendo of America Inc., based in Redmond, Washington. As one of the longest serving team members in the Business Affairs division at Nintendo, Nicola plays an integral role in shaping areas such as community building, online safety, parental controls, user-generated content and platform moderation. Her work at Nintendo has long involved weaving the values of trust and safety into all aspects of the business, including seven years leading the company’s product clearance team. Nicola has also been deeply involved for more than two decades with the Entertainment Software Rating Board (ESRB), the non-profit, self-regulatory body for the video game industry. Nicola’s passion for online safety connects directly with Nintendo’s continuing mission to create unique entertainment that puts smiles on the faces of people all over the world.