Harriet Pearson has over 20 years of global business experience in all aspects of privacy, cybersecurity and technology law, policy, and compliance. Harriet was one of the first Chief Privacy Officers in the Fortune 500 and is an internationally recognized corporate privacy and data security pioneer. Her practice focuses on counseling clients on privacy and information security policy and compliance matters such as cross-border data transfers; data security incident response and remediation; and information and cybersecurity risk management and governance. As a veteran of the corporate world, Harriet helps clients optimize and protect the value of their data and technology intensive investments and strategies.
Harriet joined Hogan Lovells from the IBM Corporation, where she served as Vice President, Security Counsel, and Chief Privacy Officer. At IBM she was responsible for information policy and practices affecting over 400,000 employees and thousands of clients. Harriet led global teams of legal, data protection, and technical professionals providing legal, policy, and compliance services to internal clients. She also led IBM’s global engagement in public policy and industry initiatives relative to cybersecurity and data privacy. In addition, Harriet has extensive experience with legal and policy issues surrounding business engagement with social media and the Internet.
Harriet is a well-known and respected member of the global privacy and cybersecurity community. She currently serves on the advisory boards of the Electronic Privacy Information Center and the Future of Privacy Forum, and previously served on the CSIS Commission on Cybersecurity for the 44th Presidency and the executive committee of the Centre for Information Policy Leadership. A founding and long-serving board member of the International Association of Privacy Professionals (IAPP), she conceived of and spearheaded the founding of the IAPP’s Pro Bono Privacy Initiative.
In 2007 the IAPP presented Harriet with its highest honor, the Vanguard Award, awarded annually to “the individual professional who best demonstrates outstanding leadership, knowledge and creativity in the field of privacy and data protection.”
Harriet is a seasoned and effective communicator and advocate whose work and views have been profiled in major media and trade/issue outlets such as The New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Harvard Business Review and Computerworld. She has extensive experience with U.S. regulatory and legislative processes, appearing before the Congress, Federal Trade Commission, Commerce Department, and other federal and state bodies. She has addressed a wide variety of business, government, and academic audiences in dozens of countries. She recently completed a four-year adjunct faculty appointment at Georgetown University, where she taught a graduate seminar on Security, Privacy and Trust, and has also guest lectured at Princeton, University of Michigan, George Washington University, and the University of Johannesburg, among other institutions.
Before joining IBM, Harriet practiced law in a Washington, D.C. law firm. Prior to studying law, she worked for Shell Oil as an engineer on offshore production platforms in the Gulf of Mexico. She lives in the Washington, D.C. area, where she is active in local community and arts organizations.