Margaret Gould Stewart

Margaret Gould Stewart

Vice President, Product Design & Responsible Innovation

Margaret Gould Stewart is Vice President of Product Design & Responsible Innovation at Facebook. Margaret established Facebook’s central Responsible Innovation team in 2018 to proactively surface and address potential harms to people and society in all that the company builds. As part of its mission, the Responsible Innovation team develops tools, methods and training to help equip teams with the knowledge and practices that are needed to build the most responsible products and technologies possible.

Margaret has been with Facebook for nine years, and over that time has led design for various areas of the company. Margaret built the design practice on the business side of Facebook, which she grew from a handful of designers at the time of Facebook’s IPO to a global organization of over 450 design and research practitioners. Over her nine years at the company, she has also led the design and research functions for Ads & Business Products, AI, Privacy, Workplace, and New Product Experimentation.

A leader in the field of user experience design for more than 20 years, Margaret has led some of the most consequential teams in consumer technology, and her work figures prominently into the design of the modern Internet. She has influenced the overall design of several of the world’s most successful digital products. Before joining Facebook in 2012, Margaret worked at Google, where she led design and research for Google Search and Consumer Products, and subsequently served as global head of design for YouTube. Prior to that, Margaret served as VP of Design & Usability at Wachovia Bank. She also was the founding Creative Director and eventually the General Manager of Tripod, Inc, a first generation startup that was ranked in the top ten most trafficked websites in the world.

In 2008, she was a part of the Google design team that accepted the Smithsonian Cooper Hewitt National Design Award for Corporate Achievement. She now serves on the Board of Trustees for the Cooper Hewitt, where she is Chair of the Trustees Committee.

Margaret holds a Master’s degree in Interactive Telecommunications from NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts. She earned her B.A. in Communication and Theatre from Boston College. She is a frequent speaker on the subjects of design leadership at conferences such as TED, CHI and AIGA, and publishes her thoughts on design and leadership on Medium.

Margaret is the youngest of nine children, a fact that significantly shaped her approach to relationship building and negotiation. She lives in Palo Alto, Calif., with her husband, three children, and various pets.

Margaret is passionate and deeply experienced about the following topics:

Tech Ethics and Responsible Innovation at Scale

  • Today’s technologists are stewards of some of the most powerful communication tools ever created—these tools have generated a lot of good in the world, but their very power requires a deep sense of responsibility and a commitment to making the most ethically responsible decisions possible, every day.
  • Weaving responsibility into our approach to technical development and design is a key way to more consistently create better outcomes for our community and the world.
  • Margaret can speak to how Facebook’s Responsible Innovation team works with product teams across the company early in the development process to help surface and address potential harms.
  • She also leads design and research teams for emerging technologies and can speak to designing responsibly for privacy, data use and algorithmic transparency.

Impact of Technology on Society

  • She is a strong believer in the democratization of tools that bring people access to information and the ability to stay connected—and is passionate about upholding the responsibility that technologists have in making the most ethically responsible decisions
  • The speed and scale of modern tech platforms may be unprecedented, Margaret says, but the issues we face around the unintended consequences of technological inventions have been around a long time.
  • Responsible design is a student of history, Margaret says, and she can speak to what she believes today’s tech designers can learn from the world’s greatest urban planners.

Empowering Women in Tech and Leadership

  • Margaret can also speak to the short-, medium- and long-term issues that the tech industry needs to address in order to train and recruit more women and underrepresented POC, and create more equitable opportunities for them.
  • Margaret has led some of the most consequential teams in consumer technology and been a main figure in the design of the modern internet. She can speak to her experience recruiting and assembling diverse teams.
  • Margaret is committed to human diversity as a primary factor and key to growth and success. She has spoken extensively on the topic of diversity and inclusion in tech.
  • As the youngest of nine kids—and a student of live theater—Margaret learned early on how to collaborate, compromise and listen to other people’s needs, laying the foundation for a storied career in design and user experience.
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