WASHINGTON — The Digital Trust & Safety Partnership, a first-of-its-kind initiative aimed at promoting a safer and more trustworthy internet, announced today that David M. Sullivan has been hired to serve as Executive Director. Having previously served as Program Director at the Global Network Initiative, a multi-stakeholder forum working to help technology companies protect and advance freedom of expression and privacy, David brings with him extensive experience working with digital services to address online harms while also respecting human rights.
“With the serious consequences of the misuse of digital services in the global spotlight, it has never been more important for companies to come together to improve consumer trust and safety online. By working together, companies can ensure the internet remains an enabler of innovation, activism, entrepreneurship, and expression,” said Sullivan. “I’m looking forward to collaborating with our members to develop best practices and build global understanding among industry, governments, civil society, and the public about rights-respecting ways to curb harmful digital behavior.”
During nearly a decade at GNI, David played a key role growing and globalizing the initiative’s membership, implementing its unique assessment process, and advocating with policymakers for rights-based approaches to issues such as responding to terrorist and extremist content and fighting against Internet shutdowns. He previously led the research and policy team at the Center for American Progress’ Enough Project and worked for international NGOs providing democracy development and humanitarian aid. He holds a master’s degree from the Johns Hopkins University Paul H. Nitze School of Advanced International Studies and a bachelor’s degree from Amherst College.
The Digital Trust & Safety Partnership is committed to developing industry best practices, reviewed through internal and independent third-party assessments, to ensure consumer safety and trust when using digital services. Founding members include Discord, Facebook, Inc., Google, Microsoft, Pinterest, Reddit, Shopify, Twitter, and Vimeo, with LinkedIn and Patreon joining since the launch.
The Digital Trust & Safety Partnership will co-host a virtual event on the future of online trust and safety with the Trust and Safety Professional Association (TSPA) on September 9. RSVP here to attend.