Posted on January 15, 2021

Vijaya Gade, Indian-American Who Spearheaded Suspension of Trump’s Twitter Account

Hindustan Times, January 12, 2021

A 45-year-old immigrant from India and Twitter’s top lawyer, Vijaya Gadde, spearheaded the decision to permanently suspend US President Donald Trump’s Twitter accounts.

On Friday, the tech giant blocked Trump’s Twitter handles for the first time, finally escalating its crackdown on the president’s social media posts that they believe encouraged and supported rioters at the US Capitol.

Gadde, the company’s head of Legal, Policy and Trust and Safety issues, took to Twitter and said “The account of @realDonaldTrump has been permanently suspended from Twitter due to the risk of further violence. We’ve also published our policy enforcement analysis–you can read more about our decision here.”

Born in India, Gadde moved to the US as a child and grew up in Texas, where her father worked as a chemical engineer on oil refineries in the Gulf of Mexico. The Gadde family then moved to the east coast, where Vijaya completed her high school in New Jersey.

A graduate of Cornell University and New York University Law School, Gadde spent almost a decade at a Bay Area-based law firm working with tech startups before she joined the social-media company in 2011.

As a corporate lawyer, Gadde operates in the background herself mounding policies, but her influence has helped shape Twitter for most of the past decade. And with Twitter’s role in global politics having increased, so has Gadde’s visibility.

As reported in Fortune, Vijaya was in the Oval Office when Twitter co-founder and chief executive officer Jack Dorsey met with US President Donald Trump last year and even joined Dorsey when he met Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi in November 2018.

When Dorsey posted a photo with the Dalai Lama from the India trip, Gadde stood between the two men, holding the Dalai Lama’s hand.

Gadde has garnered a lot of attention and has been profiled by some of the leading US publications. The Politico described Vijaya as “the most powerful social media executive you’ve never heard of”

Instyle magazine listed her in The Badass 50 2020: Meet the women who are changing the world.

Apart from her stint at Twitter, Gadde is also a co-founder of Angels, an investment collective that backs start-ups and helps ensure that women receive equal compensation at successful companies.