Kelsey Grady: The Innovation 50

Head of communications, Nextdoor

Described as the Facebook for local communities, Nextdoor has been riding a wave of hype since it launched three years ago. It works as a series of localized mini-networks, beginning life as a place for neighbors to recommend gardeners and babysitters or seek help to find a lost pet. In her role as head of communications, Kelsey Grady has earned the site plenty of high profile coverage from major outlets, including CNN, Time and Wired, as well as local press.

Before joining Nextdoor three years ago, Grady was agency-side, with stints at Loomis Group and Macy + Associates. As the local network grows beyond 40,000 neighborhood websites, the main communications challenge Grady faces is ensuring the privacy of its users. The site is stepping up as a public safety platform, partnering with local police forces, but this messaging was thrown into crisis when CEO Nirav Tolia was recently charged with a misdemeanor hit-and-run after causing injury in an auto accident.

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