Global Communications & Public Affairs, Google

Leslie Pitterson serves as Chief Communications Officer on the board of New York Women in Communications. At Google, Leslie leads the PR team for the company’s Ads Platforms & Publishers business.

Before joining Google, Leslie was VP of Communications at Nielsen, where she led communications and media relations for the company’s global Digital business. Previously, she managed media relations for the Financial Institutions Group at Moody’s Investor Services, developing the communications strategy for the first post-crisis rating actions on the major global investment banks. With a depth of experience across sectors, she has held roles at Morgan Stanley, Clinton Foundation and PBS, beginning her career over a decade ago as a UN correspondent.

Leslie is a supporter of several community organizations including The Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture at The New York Public Library. She was named to The Network Journal’s list of 40 Under Forty Black executives. She holds a M.Sc. in Communications from Columbia University and B.A. in History from The George Washington University.

Why she does what she does…
“From finance to tech, I’ve always chosen to build my career in organizations facing transformational moments. Working through disruption requires executing at a consistently high-level while keeping enough perspective to ask questions that get beyond surface. My leadership style is equal parts efficiency and intuition — I’m fortunate to have had roles that allow me to use both to drive change.”

Drawn to NYWICI…
“I joined the NYWICI board of directors because it was important to me to see the organization’s mission of empowering the women in our field deliberately expand to include more women of diverse backgrounds. The resources and opportunities that this organization provides its members can be career-changing. As part of our leadership, my focus is ensuring that access to the range of programs and scholarships is available across our growing membership.”

Why she joined the Committee Name committee — and why other members should get involved too…
“The communications committee is at the center of how we position NYWICI externally and with our members. This means thinking about everything from our presence from online to IRL. We are in this incredibly complex and compelling moment where women are reclaiming their voices and what they see as possible for themselves professionally. We work as a team to ensure that our message as an organization speaks to the moment we are in as women right now. We’re fortunate to have amazing volunteers who come to the table with distinctive ideas and solutions. It’s an inclusive group of brilliant women who everyday help each other tell stories that matter.”

Communications’ biggest challenge…
“From a strategic communications perspective, I’m interested in the way we talk about consumer privacy and what that conversation will look like in the years ahead. It’s an area where tech companies, regulators and press have largely framed the public discourse and I think it will be fascinating to see how the discussion changes as people become more cognizant around the use and value of their data.”

Off the clock, really…
“My work tends to be fast-paced and high-pressure so I make sure that I have time for the restorative moments I need. Spending time with family and friends, getting to therapy and HIIT+barre class a few times a week helps to keep me balanced and connected.”

Her nirvana…
“I love museums. They are introvert heavens. Honestly, you could put me in a museum for hours with my headphones and I’d be perfectly fine.”

Did you know…
“I basically grew up in my dad’s print shop in the Bronx and learned to type by helping out with different jobs for customers. To this day, if you watch closely, you can catch me speed typing press releases and talking points using two fingers.”

Day to relive…
“My sister’s college graduation.”

Words to live by…
“Learn to honor who you are so you don’t feel unworthy of what you need.”

— Linda Descano


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