Exploring personal histories for Black History Month on Google Cloud
Albert Sanders, Senior Counsel, Government Affairs & Public Policy
People, policy and technology make a big impact.
Albert Sanders has worked in the White House, negotiated bipartisan deals in Congress, and recently addressed the United Nations General Assembly. His personal and professional travels have taken him to five continents—and he’s visited 11 (and counting!) countries in Africa. At Google Cloud, his team works with governments across the globe to pave the way for new Google Cloud data centers that help expand access to technology and enable more people to benefit from cloud computing.
Choosing a career in public policy stemmed from an early interest in government, and his experience in an overcrowded high school, where there were often not enough seats or textbooks to go around. “I learned early on that the decisions made in city halls, capitol buildings, and government agencies have a direct impact—sometimes positive, sometimes negative—on real people,” he says. That path started with law school, and led to work on Capitol Hill and then in the Obama White House.
Connecting to his history started with Albert’s first trip to South Africa several years ago. “Traveling through Africa is intensely personal,” he says. “Many Americans may take for granted that they can trace their family origins to places outside the United States. One of the many enduring legacies of slavery is that most African Americans don’t have that direct connection to their family history. I may not know the names of my ancestors or the place of their birth, but I’m reminded regularly that they passed on to us a resilience, faith, and determination that could not be shackled.”
Along the way, Albert has gained some advice that he passes on to mentees and others: “Embrace the uncomfortable and unprecedented. And don’t be afraid to advocate for yourself,” he says. And finally: “Representation matters. One of the reasons I do my best every day is because I’m aware that I must excel for myself—and for other people of color who are still terribly underrepresented in our industry. I appreciate Google’s various initiatives to address this issue. I’m committed to doing my part to support those efforts, ensure accountability, and show what’s possible when diverse perspectives and people have a seat at the table.”
We’re grateful to these Cloud Googlers for sharing their stories, and we look forward to lots more history being made in and through technology.