WASHINGTON – The Board of Directors of the Network Advertising Initiative (NAI), the leading non-profit self-regulatory association dedicated to responsible data collection and its use for digital advertising, announced today the appointment of Leigh Freund as the association’s new President and CEO. Freund comes to NAI after an eleven-year career at AOL Inc., where she most recently served as vice president & chief counsel for global public policy. Freund succeeds Marc Groman, who recently announced his departure from NAI to pursue other opportunities.
[blockquote cite=”AOL Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Tim Armstrong” type=”left”]Over the past decade, AOL has been on the front lines for many of the most important issues in digital advertising, with Leigh playing a pivotal role in our efforts from both the legal and policy perspectives[/blockquote]
“I’m delighted to be joining NAI at such an exciting and important time in the digital advertising industry,” said Freund. “I’ve spent more than a decade immersed in the digital sector, working with AOL’s advertising platforms and third party network business, and have worked directly with many NAI member companies. I know first-hand the tremendous contributions third parties have made in the digital advertising space. I am a passionate believer in strong self-regulation and am thrilled and honored to continue to build and strengthen NAI’s critical role at the intersection of consumer privacy needs and effective advertising delivery.”
In her most recent position at AOL, Leigh led AOL’s public policy efforts and was a leading voice on global digital and technology policy. Prior to that role, Leigh led the AOL Advertising legal team and worked with AOL’s privacy team to promote and develop responsible use and collection of data, and ensure compliance with the industry’s self-regulatory programs. Before joining AOL in 2004, she worked at K&L Gates and on Capitol Hill with Rep. Fred Upton from her home state of Michigan.
“We are thrilled to welcome Leigh Freund to NAI,” said NAI Vice Chairman Alan Chapell. “Leigh brings a unique combination of expertise and experience that will greatly benefit all NAI members. She has spent the last decade working in the advertising technology space at one of our industry’s most prominent companies. She understands our industry, consumer privacy issues and, most importantly, the invaluable self-regulatory role served by NAI. She is the right person to ensure that NAI continues to thrive and build on the great work of Marc Groman and the NAI staff.”
“Over the past decade, AOL has been on the front lines for many of the most important issues in digital advertising, with Leigh playing a pivotal role in our efforts from both the legal and policy perspectives,” said AOL Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Tim Armstrong. “Leigh’s substantive expertise in privacy, advertising and public policy will be a great asset to NAI, and we look forward to continuing to work with her in this new role.”
“I congratulate Leigh and the NAI Board on an extraordinary choice,” said NAI President and CEO Marc Groman. “I can’t think of a better person than Leigh to lead NAI’s amazing staff of privacy professionals, ad industry veterans, computer scientists and data scientists who are simply the best in the business. I am proud of the many successes that NAI has enjoyed over the past three years and look forward to working with Leigh to ensure a smooth transition.”
Founded in 2000, the not-for-profit Network Advertising Initiative (NAI) is the leading non-profit self-regulatory association dedicated to responsible data collection and its use for digital advertising. NAI is the only membership organization comprised exclusively of third-party digital advertising companies. Almost every Internet ad served in the United States involves the technology of one or more of the NAI’s approximately 100 member companies, who provide the infrastructure for the Interest-Based Advertising that enables a thriving and diverse market of ad-supported free content and services. The NAI’s role is to help promote consumer privacy and trust in this market by creating and enforcing high standards for responsible data collection and use practices online and in mobile environments among its members. Additional information can be found at www.networkadvertising.org.