A former Google employee activist who helped organize a huge walkout is joining the FTC

Meredith Whittaker
Meredith Whittaker (right), a former Google AI researcher, is joining the Federal Trade Commission.
  • Former Google AI researcher Meredith Whittaker has joined the Federal Trade Commission.
  • While at Google Whittaker helped organize a massive employee walkout.
  • Her role at the FTC will be senior adviser on AI.

Meredith Whittaker, a former Google AI researcher and activist employee who left the company in 2019, announced she is taking a job with the Federal Trade Commission (FTC).

Whittaker said in a tweet Wednesday she will be joining the FTC as a senior adviser on AI.

"I'm humbled and beyond excited to get to work with + learn from @linakhanFTC [FTC chair Lina Khan] and her brilliant team," Whittaker said.

The Information reported Monday that Whittaker was being lined up for the role.

Whittaker was one of the lead organizers of a massive employee walkout at Google in 2018, where more than 20,000 workers left work to protest the company's handling of harassment allegations.

Whittaker also helped organize internal protests against Google's Project Maven, a military Pentagon contract that it dropped in 2018, following employee backlash.

She sent an internal company memo in April 2019 saying she was facing retaliation as a result of her involvement in the walkout, and left the company in July 2019.

Whittaker is currently faculty director of the AI Now Institute at New York University.

FTC Chair Lina Khan was appointed to her position in June and is viewed as a major critic of Big Tech companies.

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