October 1, 2013

Former Department of Homeland Security Chief Privacy Officer Honored with 2013 IAPP Privacy Vanguard Award

Seattle, WA – October 1, 2013 –
Today the International Association of Privacy Professionals (IAPP), the world’s largest association of privacy professionals, announced Mary Ellen Callahan, CIPP/US, as the recipient of the 2013 IAPP Privacy Vanguard Award. Callahan was recognized at the annual IAPP Privacy Dinner, held in conjunction with the IAPP Privacy Academy in Seattle, Washington.

Callahan was selected for her visionary leadership and extensive work in consumer protection law. She is the longest-serving former Chief Privacy Officer of the United States Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and has a unique and broad knowledge of and experience with the interface of the protection of privacy, civil rights and civil liberties with cybersecurity and national security issues.  In her tenure at DHS she also served as Chief Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) Officer, responsible for centralizing both FOIA and Privacy Act operations to provide policy and programmatic oversight and support. Currently, she is the founder and Chair of Jenner & Block’s Privacy and Information Governance Practice.

“Mary Ellen Callahan has been a pioneer in government privacy and data security accountability, developing innovative privacy policies that have shaped and matured information management both at the DHS and beyond,” said IAPP Chairman Brendon Lynch, CIPP/US, Chief Privacy Officer, Microsoft Corporation. “The IAPP is honored to present this award for her continued hard work and dedication to the privacy field.”

Callahan has been previously recognized by Chambers USA with a “Band One” Nationwide ranking, Chambers’ highest ranking in privacy and data security, and by Legal 500 as a “Leading Lawyer” in technology: data protection and privacy. She also received the select Federal 100 Award in 2011, and has testified before Congressional Committees numerous times.

The IAPP Privacy Vanguard Award honors the privacy professional who has demonstrated outstanding leadership, knowledge and creativity in privacy and data protection, whether through spearheading projects or programs that positively impact the privacy profession or through achievements over the course of an entire tenure or career. The IAPP Board of Directors' Executive Committee selects the recipient from a distinguished list of nominees.

About the IAPP

The International Association of Privacy Professionals (IAPP) is the largest and most comprehensive global information privacy community and resource, helping practitioners develop and advance their careers and organizations manage and protect their data. Founded in 2000, the IAPP is a not-for-profit association that helps define, support and improve the privacy profession globally. More information about the IAPP is available at  


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Tara Mulcahy
Edelman on behalf of International Association of Privacy Professionals