As the digital industry continues to evolve at a record pace and protecting our users remains front and center in our mission, it's important that AOL continue to work closely with regulators and lawmakers on new policies. I am thrilled to announce that Leigh Freund has accepted the role of Head of Global Public Policy at AOL in Washington, D.C. Leigh will direct AOL's policy strategy, working closely with government and industry partners on key issues, including patent reform and intellectual property, privacy, data protection, user transparency and Internet accessibility.

Leigh will partner with me and the senior management team to drive a leading voice on digital policy in Washington. Leigh's background on Capitol Hill and her intimate knowledge of matters faced by our advertisers, partners and consumers positions her well to help elevate our voice on issues with influencers.

Leigh has been with AOL 10 years, most recently as Vice President & Chief Counsel leading the AOL Advertising legal team. She provided advice and counsel on business strategy, commercial transactions, strategic acquisitions and complex advertising and technology agreements. Also during her tenure at AOL, she has worked closely with the public policy and privacy teams to promote and develop responsible data collection and management practices, user transparency guidelines and compliance with the industry's self-regulatory programs.

Before joining AOL in 2004, she worked as an Associate at K&L Gates where she counseled investment advisors, hedge funds and off-shore development funds on general corporate legal matters, and federal securities law disclosures and compliance issues. Earlier in her career, Leigh worked with Representative Fred Upton (R) from her home state of Michigan, first as his inaugural congressional intern and later as a member of the congressman's staff where she drafted policy papers and managed constituent affairs.

AOL's public policy office in Washington was established in 2009 following the spin out from Time Warner. We have a leading voice in the D.C. market, having worked closely over the past four years with government and industry partners on new policies, and we are a founding member of the Internet Association. I am excited for Leigh to step into her new role to build on AOL's public policy strategy with influencers.

Here's what Leigh had to say about her new role: "The complexities of the digital space require media and tech companies like AOL to have a voice in shaping intelligent public policy that can withstand the pace of innovation. While an employee of AOL, I am really working on behalf of our constituencies, including our advertisers, partners and most importantly consumers, on the issues that matter most to them."

Leigh is an active participant in several industry organizations devoted to compliance with key regulatory initiatives and principles, including the Network Advertising Initiative (NAI), Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB) and Digital Advertising Alliance (DAA).

Leigh holds an undergraduate degree in political science from Kalamazoo College and a J.D. from Georgetown University.

Please join me in congratulating her in this next step in her long tenure at AOL.