Chris LeHane | Influence 100

Chris LeHane

Global Head of Policy & Communications



As AirBnB's head of global policy and communications, Chris Lehane is charged with navigating the challenges and complexities that come with representing one of the true, and original, disruptor brands — in this case, to the travel industry. Just take a look at his job description: Lahane works “with policy makers around the world to support common sense approaches that protect the right of everyday people to share their homes in order to help make ends meet, oversees the company’s efforts to educate the public about the community wide economic benefits created by home sharing and directs initiatives to communicates how the platform is helping to democratize travel by allowing anyone to belong anywhere.”

As well as leading the company through the pandemic in communications terms, LeHane played a key role in leading the company out of crises in 2019, when it was hit by two events. First, an article in Vice detailed how Airbnb hosts can scam guests with fake identities and inaccurate listings that have left people stranded — and often footing the bill for uninhabitable places. Shortly after this, a mass shooting took place at an Airbnb listing in California.  The Vice article prompted an FBI investigation — and both incidents ultimately compelled Airbnb to take action, which included publicly posting details of the company’s plans to boost security. 

Lehane is extraordinarily well-equipped to handle the challenges of the role, considering his impressive career leading up to joining the organization in 2015. Lehane has provided strategic counsel to political, corporate, technology, entertainment and professional sports clients. In the 1990s, he held various positions in the Clinton Administration, including acting as press secretary to vice president Al Gore and special assistant counsel to president Bill Clinton. A published author and film/co-producer, Lehane has also served as a Stanford business school lecturer.