“Collaboration and partnership with tech companies and government is at the core of this all, really important,” she said on the sidelines of the conference in London.

Shields said that in approaching her new role she’ll be using the model of a programme she previously ran called WeProtect, aimed at reducing child abuse online. In that case, she said, “It wasn’t government saying to the industry you have to do this this way, it was government saying to the industry: you have the brightest minds and talent,” and turning to them for solutions.

Much of Shields’ career has been spent in industry, rather than government. From a small town in Pensylvannia, she went on to the state’s university and eventually to Silicon Valley, where she held executive roles at Facebook and Google, and served as CEO of the social networking site Bebo. Shields title is now Baroness Shields, after she was made a life peer in September 2014.

She said that a role in government would help her “send the elevator back down”—to help others access technology and ascend as she has done.

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