TheBridge profile: Monique Meche
Name: Monique Meche
Current city: Washington, DC
Current job: Global Head of Public Policy and Government Affairs, Waymo
Past job: Vice President, Public Policy, Netflix
Q. Favorite spot for a coffee meeting? Swings Coffee
Q. Describe how a skill you learned in a previous job helped you in your current job. I have learned throughout my career to be an active listener. I always take the time to listen and understand others’ perspectives and views before speaking or sharing my own views. I also like to dive deep on the specific subject that I am working on and encourage my team to do the same and become a subject matter expert in at least one area, preferably more. This approach has certainly helped me as I begin my career in the autonomous vehicle industry -- I’m taking the time to learn from my engineering and product colleagues at Waymo.
Q. Job advice in three words? Attention to details. In the public policy space, employees with detail-oriented strengths are simply more effective and avoid risks of errors or misses. If each member of a team provides accurate and complete information and highlights risks from the beginning, the entire team functions better.
Q. How are you (or your company, org, nonprofit) currently bridging the gap between politics and tech / innovation and regulation? At Waymo, we are working with regulators and policymakers to ensure they understand how self-driving technology works and how it can benefit their constituents, while also having an open conversation about the role for governments in this nascent industry. We know that consumer acceptance and trust of self-driving technology will come from increasing understanding of self-driving technology, and we see it as our responsibility to help advance understanding of this technology in the communities in which we drive.
Q. What can innovators learn from policymakers? Innovators should not oversimplify the problems that they are trying to solve, but rather be open about the challenges and transparent about the risks.
Q. What can policymakers learn from innovators? Policymakers can seek to better apply and use the technology in order to fully understand the benefits and support better regulation, dialogue and oversight.
Q. Favorite book/podcast/long-form article you recommend? I just finished reading John Doerr’s book “Measure What Matters” and would recommend it to all managers. I have been a fan of Doerr’s simple yet productive OKR (Objective and Key Results) system since my early career at Intel, and we use OKRs effectively at Waymo. I also love Pivot, the Kara Swisher and Scott Galloway podcast.
Q. If you had to live in another city, which would it be? Tokyo -- I have a soft spot for Tokyo, since my twins were born there and we lived there for almost four years. The city is so unique, modern yet merged with tradition and alive with energy and creativity. And then, there’s the amazing food, rich culture and the kind and courteous people who live there. I’m planning to spend more time there as we recently announced our partnership with Nissan-Renault to pave the way for self-driving cars in Japan and France.
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