An economic model that starts at home
Chris Lehane ’90, head of global policy and communications for Airbnb, believes that technology platforms have an enormous responsibility for their impact in the world. “We’re in a time period where there are some people talking about building walls, where there are travel bans, where you have technology isolating people into these digital bubbles,” he says. Airbnb is doing something completely different: creating community-wide economic benefits through home sharing. “I have yet to see anything that remotely does what Airbnb does.” Amherst students got a closer look at the company’s work when they visited Lehane during the Innovation Trek in 2018.
Lehane, a history major who currently serves on Amherst’s Board of Trustees, earned his JD at Harvard Law School. Throughout a career that has included several high-profile positions in the Clinton Administration, Lehane draws on a love of learning and sense of responsibility that he gained as an undergraduate: “Every day I’m trying to learn, and I do track that back ultimately to my Amherst education.”
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