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From Tech to Philanthropy

September 6, 2022

4 Minute Read

A Unique Career Story

It’s not uncommon for people with varied backgrounds to find their way to Thorn. While everyone has their own personal story, they’re all clearly united by the mission. One of them is Sanjay Krishnamurthy, our Senior Manager of Business Development.

“What we do is just so rewarding and so human,” Sanjay said. “Whether it’s our products making other platforms safer or hearing about an incredible rescue story that our technology aided in, there’s just such a thorough and acutely tangible impact here.”

After college, Sanjay’s initial plans were to become a neurosurgeon, but like the Renaissance man he is, he ended up marching to a different drum. He worked at Google in sales and product development for eight years while growing his songwriting and composition repertoire. His work at Google opened his eyes to some very dark holes in the design of the internet–holes that Thorn is on a mission to mend.

“There’s an urgency to build a shared vision across public and private sectors to govern the boundaries of how these technologies are being used and created,” he explained. “Google was doing things within Google’s platforms, Facebook was doing things across Facebook’s platforms. What’s needed is a human-first, privacy-forward, safety-by-design strategy across all platforms; a global consensus around how we should protect children on the internet.” With Thorn, Sanjay knew he could do more to make that happen.


Building a Higher Road Together was an early supporter of Thorn’s mission, piloting the Fellowship, which brought full-time Google engineers onto the Thorn team to build connections in data and visualize them clearly. Sanjay met with some of the fellows who spoke highly of Thorn’s people and technology; he immediately applied for a role on the newly founded Safer Industry team.

“As a nonprofit, Thorn has a perch around certain training datasets that are legally very difficult for for-profit companies to obtain, and that’s really compelling technical leverage,” he said. “At Google, I never would have had access to the world leaders, CEOs, venture capital firms, and law enforcement individuals I now correspond with on a weekly or quarterly basis. The Thorn network is unparalleled, and has been amazing for my career.”

That career transformed from an engaging yet relatively predictable day-to-day job with linear headroom to an exponential world of possibility.

“There’s a lot more ownership, access, and cross-platform impact I can have here compared to my future slowly rising in the ranks at a single robust global corporation. I know I’m exactly where I need to be, with the exact people I need to be with, to make the world better.


He also happens to be making better music thanks to his Thorn career as well.

“My work at Thorn really matters, and that inspires me to think more creatively and authentically around musical ideas and songs. Although it may seem completely unrelated to work, there are so many skill sets that transfer. Auditioning, rehearsing, and performing with my band is very similar to leading a Safer deal from pitch to negotiation to signature. Translating the musical ideas in my head into cohesive sheet music for an orchestra is quite similar to advising on contract language or influencing code.”

Find What Speaks to You

According to Sanjay, the work at Thorn can get pretty heavy, but a clear strategy, intention, and resilience keep the team motivated and focused.

“I feel so grateful to get to work with this team. Everyone is so smart and focused on what we can do on behalf of others. The work speaks to us, and we listen.”

The hope of global cooperation is what keeps Sanjay focused on the big picture.”Success is when the world commits to a default setting of the internet where every child is free to be safe, curious, and happy. That’s so motivating, day in and day out.”

Thank you, Sanjay, for playing such an integral role in our critical mission.

If you’re motivated to make a real difference in people’s lives with your daily work, explore career opportunities with Thorn today.

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