September 9, 2009

Richard Thomas CBE to Join Board of International Association of Privacy Professionals

York, Maine—September 9, 2009—The International Association of Privacy Professionals (IAPP), the world's largest association of privacy professionals, today announced the appointment of Richard Thomas CBE to its board of directors.
Thomas was the Information Commissioner for the United Kingdom from November 2002 until his retirement at the end of June 2009.  He was appointed by HM the Queen and held independent status, reporting directly to Parliament, with a range of regulatory, promotional and advisory responsibilities under the Data Protection Act 1998, the Freedom of Information Act 2000 and related laws.  Throughout his tenure, he served as a member of the European Union’s Article 29 Working Party on Data Protection.  Thomas was awarded the honour of Commander of the British Empire (CBE) for public service in the Queen’s Birthday Honours in June 2009.
On September 1, 2009 Thomas took over as the part-time Chairman of the UK’s Administrative Justice and Tribunals Council (AJTC), to which he was appointed by the Lord Chancellor.  The AJTC reviews the accessibility, fairness and efficiency of the arrangements for resolving disputes between governmental bodies and individuals.

 “I’m extremely pleased to welcome Richard to the board,” said IAPP President Jonathan D. Avila, CIPP, vice president – counsel, chief privacy officer, The Walt Disney Company. “He brings a unique perspective to the IAPP from his tenure as a regulator in the UK and his years in public service.  The regulator’s point of view is becoming increasingly important to privacy professionals, particularly in Europe, and we look forward to benefiting from his leadership in that area.”

Richard Thomas said “I am delighted to be invited to join the IAPP’s board.  The nature and scale of international data flows are now so great that privacy can only be treated as a truly global issue.  The IAPP has made hugely impressive progress and has great plans.  I am looking forward immensely to playing my part in developing those plans and turning them into reality.”

Before becoming Information Commissioner, Thomas held various high-profile positions including, Director of Public Policy at Clifford Chance; Director of Consumer Affairs at the Office of Fair Trading; Head of Public Affairs and Legal Officer at the National Consumer Council; and Solicitor with the Citizens Advice Bureau Service and Freshfields.  He also previously held various public appointments, including membership of the Lord Chancellor’s Civil Justice Review Advisory Committee and the Board of the Financial Ombudsman Service.  Thomas currently serves as Deputy Chairman of the UK Consumers Association which has over 650,000 members.  He has been awarded an honorary Doctor of Laws degree by the University of Southampton and is a visiting Professor at the University of Northumbria.

About the IAPP
The International Association of Privacy Professionals is the world's largest association of privacy professionals with more than 6,000 members across 50 countries.  The IAPP helps to define and support the privacy profession through networking, education and certification.  More information about the IAPP is available at


For more information, press only:
Tammy Vigliotti
International Association of Privacy Professionals
+1 (207) 351.1500