Global Head of International Relations, Google
Ross LaJeunesse is Global Head of International Relations for Google, where he oversees the company’s efforts to advance a free and open Internet around the world. He is also responsible for a broad policy agenda to advance the Internet’s role in commerce, education, journalism, the arts and all aspects of our day-to-day lives. As one of Google’s senior negotiators with leaders across the globe, he has led multinational efforts to block United Nations proposals that would impose greater government control over the Internet.
LaJeunesse has been with Google for ten years, and previously served as Head of Government Affairs for the Asia Pacific region. During that time, he helped execute the company’s landmark decision to shut down its search product in mainland China instead of cooperating with Chinese government censorship. He began his career at Google leading government affairs in the western United States.
Before joining Google, LaJeunesse served as Deputy Chief of Staff and Senior Advisor to California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger. He developed and executed the Governor’s ambitious policy agenda, including infrastructure investment, education reform and economic development. He was also responsible for advising the Governor on key personnel decisions, including the appointment of California’s first cabinet-level Chief Information Officer.
In the mid-2000s, LaJeunesse was Chief of Staff to California Controller Steve Westly, the state’s chief financial officer. He oversaw all aspects of the Controller’s operations, including a strategic redirection of the agency’s 1,100 staff and $150 million annual budget to improve efficiency and innovation. He also acted as a top advisor to Westly’s 2006 gubernatorial campaign.
Before joining Controller Westly’s office, LaJeunesse served as Chief of Staff to California Public Utilities Commissioner Susan Kennedy, where he was responsible for advancing key regulatory reforms to the state’s $70 billion telecommunications, energy and transportation industries. At that time, LaJeunesse directed the most comprehensive analysis of California’s broadband infrastructure in history and co-authored the Commission’s report to the legislature on increasing high-speed Internet access.
His work in California also included serving as Vice President and General Counsel at Avasta, Inc., an early Internet infrastructure company. LaJeunesse began his career as an assistant to United States Senate Majority Leader George J. Mitchell. He went on to serve as Senator Edward Kennedy’s chief advisor on reinventing government, and national and community service issues. LaJeunesse graduated magna cum laude and Phi Beta Kappa from Dartmouth College with a degree in Asian Studies, and studied advanced Arabic at the American University in Cairo. He received his law degree with honors from Harvard Law School.
He is a member of the Board of Trustees of Freedom House, one of the world’s leading organizations dedicated to promoting freedom and democracy globally. He previously served on the board of the California Emerging Technology Fund, a multi-million dollar fund to expand broadband access in the state.