BSI Announces Inaugural Class of Certified Brand Safety Officers

Posted by Brand Safety Institute • May 27, 2020 5:30:00 AM

Inaugural Class Includes Execs from Largest Agency Holding Companies, Global 500 Brands, Major Technology Platforms

WASHINGTON, DC – May 27, 2020 –The Brand Safety Institute (BSI), a nonprofit advertising industry initiative to strengthen the brand safety profession, today announced its inaugural graduating class of Certified Brand Safety Officers. The group includes dozens of executives who manage brand safety and related issues at the world’s largest advertising agency holding companies, global 500 brands, and major technology platforms. All of the executives have completed BSI’s rigorous brand safety education program, including ten in-depth subject area modules.

“While most graduation ceremonies have been curtailed this year, this first BSI class will be marked by the advertising industry as a turning point in the professionalization of the field of brand safety,” said Mike Zaneis, co-founder of the Brand Safety Institute. “BSI’s inaugural graduating class has completed the rigorous certification process needed to demonstrate their deep knowledge and expertise around these topics, as they help their companies navigate the complicated brand safety challenges our industry faces today.

Executives awarded the certification include:

  • Justin Adler-Swanberg, MediaMath
  • Kristin Anderson, KPMG
  • Joe Barone, GroupM
  • Rob Beeler, Beeler.Tech
  • AJ Brown, Twitter
  • Scott Cunningham, Cunningham Tech
  • Christine Desrosiers, Double Bagel Consulting
  • Abrahim Farraj, NBC Universal
  • Harold Geller, Ad-ID LLC
  • Rachel Glasser, Wunderman
  • Marc Goldberg, Method Media Intelligence
  • Kelley Grover, Deloitte
  • Chris Hallenbeck, OpenX
  • Ted Holland, Nelson Schmidt
  • Stacey Hultgren, Pandora
  • Sam Hutchison, BMO Financial Group
  • Matthew Katz, FreeWheel
  • Roman Kuzmych, MGID
  • Joshua Lowcock, UM Worldwide
  • David Murnick, Dentsu Aegis Network
  • Richard Murphy, BPA Worldwide
  • Julia Pawling, AIG
  • Shushma Ramachandra, InMobi
  • Jeanine Ricci, Lufthansa Group
  • Michael Sanders, Bank of Montreal
  • Alexandra Sardarian, Acoustic
  • Lane Schechter, GumGum
  • Terri Schriver, Bank of America
  • Erick Schwab, Sylo
  • Rachel Nyswander Thomas, Trustworthy Accountability Group
  • Sal Tripi, Publishers Clearing House
  • Oliver von Wersch, vonwerschpartner Digital Strategies
  • Eric Warburton, Horizon Media
  • Linda Wiles, SRP
  • kHyal, fiZz Agency


UPDATE: Since this press release, BSI has added the following certified Brand Safety Officers:

  • William Bock, 4As
  • Holly Frei, KPMG
  • Clare Langstaff, ABC UK
  • Travis Lusk, Ebiquity
  • Steven Ortlieb, Verizon Media
  • Lakshit Sharma, Friesland Campina
  • Adam Smith, Sightly
  • Nick Stringer, Trustworthy Accountability Group


The BSI curriculum has been developed in consultation with the BSI Board of Advisors, which includes more than two dozen industry leaders. The ten subject-area modules that encompass the curriculum include: Introduction to Brand Safety, Ad Fraud, Ad-Supported Piracy, Malware in the Digital Ad Supply Chain, Ad Adjacency and Brand Reputation, Verification and Viewability, Knowing Your Partners, Ad Quality and Customer Experience, Consumer Choice, and Role of the Brand Safety Officer.

“Brand safety is changing faster than ever, as global events force companies to reevaluate their policies, partners, and practices to safeguard their supply chains and protect their reputations,” said Neal Thurman, Co-Founder of BSI. “This inaugural class of Certified Brand Safety Officers are leaders in our field and exemplify the best of the brand safety community, as they work to raise the standard of brand safety not only for their own companies but for their peers across the industry. We commend the members of this inaugural BSI class for their achievement and their dedication to this effort.”

About the Brand Safety Institute

The Brand Safety Institute is a digital advertising industry initiative to professionalize the work of brand protection. Through its research, education, and certification programs, the Brand Safety Institute gives ad industry executives the expertise and skills they need to minimize brand risks and capitalize on brand opportunities in the digital advertising supply chain. Through its Brand Safety Officer certification program, the Brand Safety Institute helps leaders set the highest standards for brand protection, learn new and emerging best practices, and build an industry-wide community of brand safety peers. More information about the Brand Safety Institute can be found at

Topics: Press Release, Certification, Brand Safety Officers