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Farhaan Ladhani

Farhaan is CEO of Digital Public Square and a co-founder of the organization. For nearly 20 years, he has been leading efforts on the use of digital tools to connect and mobilize people online.

Farhaan has deep experience leading cross-functional teams, including in high-conflict and crisis environments. With nearly a decade of public service from Canada’s former International Development Agency, to most recently serving as the Prime Minister of Canada’s senior advisor for digital, Farhaan Ladhani has a record of generating real-world outcomes, winning awards for a number of first-in-kind initiatives.

While at Global Affairs Canada, Farhaan’s foreign assignments included the Head of Section for Strategic Communications in Kandahar where he led a team of Afghan, US, Canadian, and international partners responsible for executing strategic communications and public engagement initiatives throughout Kandahar Province. From 2006 to 2008, Farhaan was based in Washington, D.C. at the Embassy of Canada where he focused on the development of social and new media initiatives.

Farhaan has conceived, designed and delivered a series of groundbreaking efforts to support human rights-related campaigns in a variety of countries through the use of digital tools. These include strategies to counter extremist violence in Kandahar in support of the Afghan government, and campaigns to equip Egyptian democracy activists with support from Silicon Valley technologists. Farhaan has extensive experience with projects involving free expression in areas of the world affected by censorship. He was instrumental in leading the Canadian government’s contributions to the inaugural Global Dialogue on the Future of Iran in 2013, reaching over 5 million Iranians in an unprecedented exercise of their freedom of expression, facilitated through the strategic combination of digital tools and the development of custom digital platforms. In 2016, Farhaan led the team that delivered, a project that encouraged and engendered a conversation amongst men and women in the Middle East about the role of women in society.

Under Farhaan’s leadership, the team at the DPS is at the forefront of developing new technology and tools to foster online engagement, leveraging cutting-edge data science to tackle large-scale multilingual data analytics challenges, and helping organizations reach key targets through better use of data. This team has been responsible for developing and executing highly successful large-scale marketing and outreach campaigns across the Middle East and China leveraging the very latest in adtech and creative distribution technologies, with a particular expertise in reaching marginalized communities, those facing repression, or those in sensitive digital space.