I’m thrilled to announce that Benetech has filled two key positions: Nadine Apelian Dobbs as Communications Director and Elaine Wallace as General Counsel. I think they will both make big contributions to building Benetech’s ability to deliver greater impact in the technology-for-good field.
For more than a decade, Nadine has worked at the intersection of policy and media in major markets including New York, Chicago and Washington, DC. She was the Assistant Director of Communications at the Council on Foreign Relations (CFR) and then head of media for Foreign Affairs magazine in New York. When connecting with reporters, she draws heavily on her own experience working in the newsroom for leading PBS news programs.
We’re delighted Nadine has joined Benetech’s senior team to direct our communications program. Developing a strong culture of communications is critical for expanding Benetech’s impact. Nadine’s extensive experience in policy communications will allow us to build upon our recent efforts—including rolling out the updated Benetech brand identity and redesigned website—and taking them to the next level.
Most recently, Nadine comes to Benetech from Water.org, where she developed and executed the organization’s public affairs strategy. Previously she was an independent consultant working with The Chicago Council on Global Affairs on the 2012 NATO Summit, Chicago Ideas Week, news platform Syria Deeply and FEM Inc., a technology and media venture based in San Francisco and Los Angeles.
We’re also very excited to welcome to the Benetech family Elaine Wallace, our very first General Counsel. We have had the benefit of incredibly generous pro bono legal assistance over our history, including our board members Gerry Davis and Rob Wexler. But with Benetech’s expanding involvement in major domestic and international intellectual property policy, we recognized that it was time to increase our capacity.
Elaine is a seasoned attorney with extensive experience advising clients on intellectual property, internet law, privacy, licensing, litigation and informal dispute resolution. As Benetech continues to grow, it is essential for us to have an in-house counsel to help our social enterprise teams do the best possible work for disadvantaged communities, and be a resource for partners and policy makers. Elaine has the perfect experience and passion to help us grow as we continue to navigate a variety of legal issues related to our work, including intellectual property and service and partnership contracts, among many others.
Elaine worked with a broad range of clients, from start-ups and nonprofits to some of the biggest technology and internet companies in the world. She spent more than 15 years at major international law firms, including Jones Day and Dechert LLP. Inspired by socially responsible and mission-driven clients, last year she shifted her focus to practicing in the nonprofit sector and served as Pro Bono Counsel at the Wikimedia Foundation.
We are incredibly fortunate and excited to have both Nadine and Elaine joining Benetech!