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Welcoming Esra'a Al Shafei, Head of Protocol Safety

I joined because I strongly believe that owning your data is critical in safeguarding your autonomy, privacy, and personal freedom.

Shane Mac
Shane Mac
2 min read

XMTP exists to ensure that secure, private and portable communication is accessible as a public good — to everyone. Such a mission brings with it very complex challenges, especially around the trust and safety of an open sourced protocol.

We don’t have all of the answers, and it is vital, as we continue to build, grow and decentralize XMTP, that we create an inclusive and supportive environment that encourages active participation and inspires community-driven initiatives that advance this cause.

Which is why I’m so excited to welcome Esra’a Al Shafei as our Head of Protocol Safety. Esra’a comes to us with longtime expertise in the fields of trust and safety, human rights, and brand development. She will be building out our trust and safety initiatives, as well as engage a global advisory council to help guide us in this area.

Through her work, Esra’a has demonstrated her commitment to using online platforms to empower marginalized voices in challenging environments. Esra'a is the founder of, a network of award-winning platforms that amplify under-reported voices in the Middle East and North Africa, which she built while navigating major challenges in censorship and surveillance. Esra'a is also the co-founder of the Numun Fund, a Global South-led initiative that aims to seed, resource, and sustain a feminist technology ecosystem.

She is currently the Vice Chair of the Board at the Wikimedia Foundation, the nonprofit that runs Wikipedia, and was formerly the Founding Chair of the Product and Technology Committee. In her current capacity, she provides guidance on privacy and human rights issues faced by Wikipedia users worldwide. She is also on the Board of the Tor Project, developers of one of the world's strongest privacy tools.

I asked Esra’a why she chose to join XMTP Labs:

“I joined because I strongly believe that owning your data is critical in safeguarding your autonomy, privacy, and personal freedom. It empowers you to decide who has access to your information, how it's used, and for what purpose. XMTP's emphasis on interoperability escalates this agency, dismantling the walled gardens that often isolate users and limit consumer choice. Messaging isn't just a tool; it's an extension of our identity and relationships. XMTP is pioneering a transformative approach to this essential form of communication. The team’s unwavering commitment to privacy, security, and transparent, open-source development resonates deeply with my own principles and my ongoing work in championing privacy as a human right.”

Welcome to the team Esra’a!


Shane Mac

Co-founder & President at XMTP