Soribel Feliz ’09
Soribel Feliz ’09 spent the first decade of her career at the U.S. State Department as a diplomat in Romania, Brazil, and Washington, D.C., where she worked on everything from trade and macroeconomic issues to bilateral relationships and fraud prevention programs.
The job was everything she had trained for, having obtained her undergraduate degree in political science from Brooklyn College and then two master’s degrees in economics and public affairs at Syracuse University, and earning the prestigious Thomas R. Pickering Graduate Foreign Affairs Fellowship, which landed her an internship in the House Foreign Affairs Committee and fast-tracked her to the foreign service.
It was an invaluable experience, she says. But last year, after realizing that “whoever controls the latest technology is going to rule the world,” she transitioned to a new job at Meta, formerly Facebook, as a project manager for the Trust & Safety and Global Operations teams.
“I had a personal interest in tech and the emerging tech issues, and I wasn’t getting that in my job at State,” she says. “I knew if I wanted to work on those things, I had to work where things happened.”
In her first six months, she worked on election integrity and crisis management, routing the platform of disinformation and other content that runs amuck of the tech giant’s standards. With all of the negative press around the issue, it’s a high-stress position, she says.
“The public doesn’t realize how hard we’re working on that, but the people I work with are dedicated and have the best interests at heart,” she says.
She recently switched gears to the fast-changing realm of regulatory compliance, helping to keep Meta in line with new governmental regulations.
“It’s a new space that comes with its challenges,” she says. “We’re dealing with big problems that haven’t been problems before.”
Which is precisely why she’s there. Having worked in Washington, she saw firsthand how far the federal government has to go with supporting, encouraging, and implementing technological innovations. Now at Meta, she sees the scramble tech companies go through every time there’s a new crisis or regulation. The distrust on both sides is at an all-time high, she points out.
“Tech cannot ignore the government and government cannot ignore the tech sector anymore. Those days are over,” she says.
To that end, she has recently started doing some career coaching with public-sector employees who want to transition into tech, offering resume review, interview prep, and salary negotiation workshops.
“I want to be a connector, someone who can play in both worlds and work on solutions that help close the gap between them,” she says.