Heather Leson is a Program Manager and community builder for global open source projects. As the Co-Director, Social Innovation for the Qatar Computing Research Institute, Qatar Foundation she creates projects and programmes for social innovation and humanitarian software.
Specializing in strategic planning, community engagement, and fundraising, Heather is a Board member for Humanitarian OpenStreetMap Team. She demonstrates mentorship and leadership as an Infogr.am ambassador and adviser for numerous social technology start-ups including School of Data, Jump2Spot and Invstg8net. She is a member of the Standby Task Force and Non-Commercial User Constituency, ICANN. Organizations she leads in include the Crisis Mappers Network, Humanitarian OpenStreetMap TeamOpen Knowledge Foundation (School of Data), Ushahidi, Random Hacks of Kindness, Mozilla and more. Recognized as a digital humanitarian leader, Crowdsourcing Week cited her as one of the Top 10 Canadian Experts. Heather curates numerous civil society, open source and technology workshops and is a frequent public speaker including such events as IEEE Humanitarian Technology Conference, Google Big Tent, UN Human Rights Council, World Bank, OSCONTedxSilkRoad, UNSpider and various Canadian government events.
Heather has over 15 years of experience in technical incident management, software life-cycle development, customer care, and Internet communications. She holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Combined Political Science and History from Carleton University in Canada’s capital city of Ottawa, and a Library and Information Technician diploma from Seneca College of Applied Arts and Technology in Toronto. Leadership programmes that Heather has participated include Personal Democracy Forum Google Fellow) and a certificate for the Annenberg-Oxford Media Policy Summer Institute (2012)
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