Elliot J. Schrage is an American lawyer and business executive. Until June 2018, he was vice president of global communications, marketing, and public policy at Facebook, where he directed the company's government affairs and public relations efforts.[1][2][3] He then served as vice president of special projects at Facebook.[4]

Elliot Schrage
Schrage, January 2010
EducationA.B. 1981, J.D. & M.P.P. 1986
Alma materHarvard University
Occupation(s)Former VP of Communications and Public Policy and VP of Special Projects

Life and education edit

Schrage was born to a Jewish family[5] and holds degrees from Harvard Law School[6] (J.D. 1986), the John F. Kennedy School of Government (M.P.P. 1986),[7] and Harvard College (A.B. 1981). He also studied at the École Normale Supérieure in Paris, France.[8]

Career edit

Early career edit

Schrage began his legal career with Sullivan & Cromwell, where he specialized in U.S. securities offerings, mergers and acquisitions, and corporate transactions, including project financing for the Euro Disneyland theme park.[8]

He then worked as managing director of the New York office of Clark & Weinstock, a public policy and management consulting firm. Since 1990, Schrage also served as adjunct professor at Columbia Business School, where he taught a seminar that "explores the intersection of international human rights law and multinational business practices", and Columbia Law School.[8]

Schrage served as the Bernard L. Schwarz Senior Fellow in Business and Foreign Policy at the Council on Foreign Relations[9] and also worked at Gap, Inc., as the senior vice president for global communications.[10]

Google edit

On October 31, 2005, it was announced that Schrage had joined Google as vice president, Global Communications and Public Affairs,[11] where he managed communications and public affairs issues around Google's acquisition of YouTube in 2006 as well as DoubleClick in 2007.[12] Upon joining Google, Schrage inherited the company's controversy regarding censoring search results in China.[13] On February 15, 2006, he testified in front of the United States House Committee on International Relations on behalf of Google on the subject of Internet in the People's Republic of China[14] in connection with Google's decision to offer a limited, but transparent, search to enter the Chinese market[15] and compete with Baidu, a more restrictive and non-transparent service.[16][17]

In 2007, Schrage was instrumental in creating a partnership between the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum and Google Earth team to map evidence of atrocities in the Darfur region of Sudan and raise public awareness of the attempted genocide in the region.[18][19][20]

Facebook edit

In announcing Schrage's appointment as VP of Global Communications and Public policy in May 2008, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg indicated that Schrage "will direct our efforts to work with users, media, governments and other entities around the world to ensure that Facebook's policies are transparent, responsive, effective and are recognized as being those things".[21][22]

On May 12, 2010, The New York Times published a Q&A with Schrage, where he answered readers' questions.[23] The interview was panned and negatively rated in the press, with Schrage attracting criticism for his poor handling of Facebook's privacy policies.[24] In 2017, Schrage launched Facebook's "Hard Questions" series to explain Facebook's policies and discuss challenging topics including the company's impact on society.[25][26] The series, edited by former New York Times public editor Elizabeth Spayd,[27][28] included more than 40 posts, videos or transcripts with contributions from Facebook executives and other experts, including Toomas Hendrik Ilves.[29] In 2018, Schrage launched Facebook's initiative to open data for independent academic research on social media's influence on elections and democracy.[30][31][32] In 2018, it was reported that Schrage tasked a Republican-affiliated PR firm to push negative narratives about Facebook's competitors, namely Apple and Google.[33]

Schrage led Facebook's initiatives to address the impacts of the company's growing size on housing costs and transportation, initially near the company's headquarters and, later, on the San Francisco Bay Area.[34] In 2016, the company announced a partnership with local community groups to support affordable housing, job training and assistance for tenants at risk of losing their homes.[35] Facebook's initial contribution of $20 million[36] unlocked over $75 million of additional resources to finance affordable housing.[37] In 2019, Schrage led Facebook's announcement of a $1 billion 10-year investment in affordable housing and permanent support housing for the homeless across California.[34]

"Elliot Schrage at Facebook is as important to the success of that company as any of their marketers or engineers because again, without his ability to play in DC and Brussels, etc., they're going to be constrained."

— Richard Edelman, President and CEO of Edelman[38]

On June 14, 2018, he announced his intention to resign from his position at Facebook.[39] Schrage was succeeded by former British Deputy Prime Minister and leader of the Liberal Democrats Nick Clegg.[40]

Human rights advocacy edit

Schrage worked for such groups as Human Rights First, Human Rights Watch and the Robert F. Kennedy Memorial.[8] Schrage helped to create, and co-taught, the first stand-alone course dedicated to exploring the human rights responsibilities of global business at Columbia Business School in the early 1990s.[41] Later, the course was also offered at Columbia Law School and the School of International Public Affairs.[41] Schrage advised various international corporations and trade associations, assisting them in developing corporate "codes of conduct" on human rights. Alongside the development of mechanisms to monitor human rights compliance, he assisted these bodies in evaluating the efficacy of their monitoring programs.[8] In 1992–93, Schrage created and served as the first director of the Liaison Office on Human Rights and Environment for The Lawyers Committee for Human Rights (now Human Rights First), one of the first programs to investigate connections between the growing US movement for environmental justice and international human rights obligations.[8] In 1996, Schrage helped organize a partnership between three organizations; UNICEF, the ILO and Save the Children. The purpose of the partnership was to end child labor in soccer ball production in Pakistan. At that time Pakistan was the source for three of every four balls produced each year. A further project was announced to address the same problems regarding labor and production in India.[42] From 2000 to 2001, Schrage served as Senior Vice President of Global Affairs for Gap Inc.[43] Schrage's position required him to manage the social responsibility initiatives of the company. As part of this role he oversaw engagement programs for company stakeholders, which included various social investors, NGOs and government officials. Furthermore, he was tasked with auditing the working conditions for factory workers who manufactured goods for the Gap, Old Navy and Banana Republic brands, through the set up and direction of a new body for Gap, entitled Gap's Global Compliance Organization.[8] He led study groups on Judging Corporate Liability in the Global Economy,[44] Leveraging the Power of the Privat Sector in the Middle East and North Africa[45] and Beyond the Letter of the Law: The Global Impact of Compliance as a Foreign Policy Tool.[46] His work on the application of the Alien Tort Statute was cited by the U.S. Supreme Court in its analyses of potential liability for multinational corporations for complicity in human rights abuses in the countries where they do business.[47] He also advised the American Apparel Manufacturers Association in developing the Worldwide Responsible Apparel Production (WRAP) Certification Program, a global program to certify apparel factories that comply with human rights standards.[8]

Schrage has served on the American Association for the Advancement of Science's Committee on Scientific Freedom and Human Rights, and the U.S. Department of Treasury Advisory Committee on International Child Labor Enforcement and is a life member of the Council on Foreign Relations.[48] His board experience includes serving as a trustee of the Harvard Law School Association of New York, Director of the International League for Human Rights, and the Director of the Medicare Beneficiaries Defense Fund (now Medicare Rights Center).[42] He was twice appointed by President Obama to serve as Trustee of the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum.[49]

Other activities edit

  • The Flywheel Fund for Career Choice, chairman[50]
  • San Francisco-Marin Food Bank, board of directors[51]
  • The Institute for Quantitative Social Science (IQSS), Harvard University, policy fellow[52]
  • Education SuperHighway, board member[52]

Personal life edit

Schrage, his wife, and his children reside in San Francisco, California.

Selected publications edit

  • Paper Laws, Steel Bayonets: Breakdown of the Rule of Law in Haiti, Human Rights First, 1990. ISBN 9780934143387
  • A Long Way to Find Justice: What Are Burmese Villagers Doing in a California Court?, The Washington Post, 2002.[53]

References edit

  1. ^ "Elliot Schrage, Executive Profile". Bloomberg.com. Bloomberg. Retrieved 22 September 2016.
  2. ^ Eldon, Eric (24 June 2010). "Facebook Hires White House Staffer for Global Policy Position". Social Times. AdWeek. Retrieved 22 September 2016.
  3. ^ Facebook policy boss Elliot Schrage is stepping down after 10 years at the company Business Insider, 20180615
  4. ^ "Facebook's Policy Chief Quit Last Year. He Still Hasn't Left". Bloomberg. 17 September 2019. Retrieved 2022-11-10.
  5. ^ Schrage, Elliot (November 21, 2018). "Elliot Schrage on Definers". Facebook News. Being Jewish is a core part of who I am and our company stands firmly against hate.
  6. ^ Schrage, Elliot (Summer 2000). "Child Labor & Exploitation". Journal of Civil Rights and Economic Development. 14 (3): 405. Retrieved 29 July 2017.
  7. ^ "Dean's Council". Harvard Kennedy School. Archived from the original on 29 July 2017. Retrieved 29 July 2017.
  8. ^ a b c d e f g h Foremski, Tom (2 November 2005). "Google hires squeaky clean human rights/ corporate responsibility lawyer as PR chief: Is GOOG expecting more trouble ahead? Will Mr. Schrage spearhead GOOG's attack on China's human rights abuses?". Silicon Valley Watcher.
  9. ^ "Google names public-affairs chief". cnet.com. Retrieved 2022-09-06.
  10. ^ "Belfer Center and Future Society Student and Fellow Session with Elliot Schrage". belfercenter.org. Retrieved 2022-09-06.
  11. ^ "Google Names Elliot Schrage Vice President of Global Communications and Public Affairs" (Press release). October 31, 2005.
  12. ^ "The Search Party". newyorker.com. 7 January 2008. Retrieved 2022-05-31.
  13. ^ "Google ranks censorship as a trade issue". The Independent. 2006-02-16. Archived from the original on March 17, 2017. Retrieved 2017-03-16.
  14. ^ Testimony of Google Inc. before the Subcommittee on Asia and the Pacific, and the Subcommittee on Africa, Global Human Rights, and International Operations, February 15, 2006
  15. ^ WIRED Staff. "Tech's China Policy a 'Disgrace'". Wired. ISSN 1059-1028. Retrieved 2022-08-10.
  16. ^ "Backlash as Google shores up great firewall of China". the Guardian. 2006-01-25. Retrieved 2022-08-10.
  17. ^ Crampton, Thomas (2006-06-07). "Google is voicing some doubt over China - Technology - International Herald Tribune". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2022-08-10.
  18. ^ "Google Earth maps atrocities in Darfur". Reuters. 2007-04-11. Retrieved 2022-10-12.
  19. ^ "Google puts Darfur crisis on its map". Los Angeles Times. 2007-04-11. Retrieved 2022-10-12.
  20. ^ "Google Earth maps out Darfur atrocities - CNN.com". edition.cnn.com. Retrieved 2022-10-12.
  21. ^ "Zuckerberg Hires Another VP From Google: Elliot Schrage". techcrunch.com. 6 May 2008. Retrieved 2022-10-21.
  22. ^ "Top-shelf Googler heads to Facebook". cnet.com.
  23. ^ "Facebook executive answers readers' questions", The New York Times, May 12, 2010
  24. ^ "Why BP = Facebook", The Huffington Post, May 13, 2010
  25. ^ "Facebook's Policy Chief Quit Last Year. He Still Hasn't Left". Bloomberg. 17 September 2019. Retrieved 2022-11-01.
  26. ^ "Facebook promises to openly talk about its most controversial internal policies". theverge.com. 15 June 2017. Retrieved 2022-11-01.
  27. ^ "Facebook has hired former NYT public editor Liz Spayd as a consultant in a 'transparency' effort". vox.com. 25 August 2017. Retrieved 2022-11-01.
  28. ^ "Facebook hires former NYT public editor to help with transparency". thehill.com. 25 August 2017. Retrieved 2022-11-01.
  29. ^ "Hard Questions". about.fb.com. Retrieved 2022-11-01.
  30. ^ "Facebook Launches New Initiative to Help Scholars Assess Social Media's Impact on Elections". about.fb.com. 9 April 2018. Retrieved 2022-11-01.
  31. ^ "Evaluation of the Social Science One – Social Science Research Council – Facebook Partnership" (PDF). hewlett.org. Retrieved 2022-11-01.
  32. ^ "The Global Commons of Data" (PDF). law.stanford.edu. Retrieved 2022-11-01.
  33. ^ Facebook's outgoing communications head reportedly takes the blame for hiring controversial PR firm CNBC, 20181121
  34. ^ a b "Opinion: Facebook's strategy to address housing and transportation". Marin Independent Journal. 2019-10-23. Retrieved 2023-02-14.
  35. ^ "Facebook commits $20 million for affordable housing, other assistance". The Mercury News. 2016-12-02. Retrieved 2023-02-14.
  36. ^ "Facebook commits $20 million to fund affordable housing, job training in Silicon Valley". www.bizjournals.com. Retrieved 2023-02-14.
  37. ^ "LISC Picked to Administer Facebook's Catalyst Housing Fund". www.housingfinance.com. 2017-08-09. Retrieved 2023-02-14.
  38. ^ "Richard Edelman - Full Interview". bellisario.psu.edu. Retrieved 2023-04-05.
  39. ^ Roettgers, Janko (2018-06-14). "Facebook Communications Head Elliot Schrage Is Leaving". Variety. Retrieved 2018-10-19.
  40. ^ Sweney, Mark (2018-10-19). "Facebook hires Nick Clegg as head of global affairs". the Guardian. Retrieved 2018-10-19.
  41. ^ a b "Introduction: Teaching Business and Human Rights". Teaching Business and Human Rights Forum. 2016-10-25. Retrieved 2021-07-20.
  42. ^ a b "Child Labor & Exploitation". Retrieved 2021-09-13.
  43. ^ "Elliot Schrage | SIEPR". siepr.stanford.edu. Retrieved 2021-09-20.
  44. ^ "Judging Corporate Accountability in the Global Economy" (PDF). Retrieved 2021-10-05.
  45. ^ "Council of Foreign Relations - Annual Report 2005" (PDF). Retrieved 2021-10-05.
  46. ^ "Council on Foreign Relations - Annual Report 2006" (PDF). Retrieved 2021-10-05.
  47. ^ "Supreme Court of the United States" (PDF). Retrieved 2021-10-05.
  48. ^ "Board of Directors". San Francisco-Marin Food Bank. Retrieved 2021-10-06.
  49. ^ "President Obama Announces Appointments to United States Holocaust Memorial Council — United States Holocaust Memorial Museum". www.ushmm.org. Retrieved 2021-10-06.
  50. ^ Sloan, Karen (2022-09-15). "Stanford Law to offer 'income share' financing as law school costs soar". Reuters. Retrieved 2022-10-18.
  51. ^ "Board of Directors". San Francisco-Marin Food Bank. Retrieved 2022-10-18.
  52. ^ a b "The Flywheel Fund for Career Choice | About Us". The Flywheel Fund for Career Choice. 2022-07-05. Retrieved 2023-02-14.
  53. ^ "A Long Way to Find Justice: What Are Burmese Villagers Doing in a California Court?". Business & Human Rights Resource Centre. Retrieved 2022-08-31.