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The Privacy Advisor | IAPP's 2022 Vanguard Award Winners Related reading: Kirk Nahra receives 2021 IAPP Vanguard Award

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For the first time ever, the IAPP Vanguard Awards recognized five leading privacy professionals from different corners of the globe: Asia, Europe/Middle East, Latin America, North America and Oceania. The IAPP Vanguard Award is given to individuals who advance "the profession through noteworthy commitment, contribution and leadership.” 

The 2022 winners are: 

Asia — Abhishek Tiwari

Asia’s IAPP Vanguard Award winner is KPMG Manager in Digital Trust Team Abhishek Tiwari, CIPP/E, CIPM, FIP. Tiwari began his privacy career in 2016 and today is assisting one of his firm’s top clients to implement a comprehensive privacy program.

"The privacy field is evolving daily, and regulators and authorities are also making sure it adopts changes, while catering to changing demands,” Tiwari said. “We are lucky that we have bodies like IAPP and OneTrust, who are making sure we remain on top on these developments. This, in turn, is encouraging me to keep myself updated so I can grow with the industry changes.”

Tiwari said among his proudest accomplishments in his career was when he assisted his colleagues who were not informed of the latest privacy standards. He said he brought his then-firm into compliance and was recognized for his efforts.

Tiwari said a key to his leadership in the privacy industry is his desire to continuously learn with the help of IAPP and his local KnowledgeNet community.

“Being open towards learning is the big key here,” Tiwari said. “I also encourage everyone to check out the knowledge sharing sessions and webinars so we stay current with any developments. I know the time zone changes can be difficult, but if you are passionate about the field, you’ll be able to make the time.”

Europe/Middle East — Dan Or-Hof

Europe and the Middle East’s IAPP Vanguard Award winner is Or-Hof Law Owner Dan Or-Hof, CIPP/E, CIPP/US, CIPM, FIP. He founded Or-Hof Law nine years ago and envisioned it becoming a natural port-of-call for technology-driven companies while offering his “personal touch.”

“That deep professional drive has merged with the greater story of privacy protection,” Or-Hof said.

“Being a privacy pro is not just a job, we are shaping the way we interact with one another. In my view, the privacy profession is the ultimate synthesis of legal innovation, the love for technology and respect for human rights.”

Or-Hof began his career 30 years ago in the information and tech field. The passion he has accumulated in the decades since fueled his desire to work with innovators. He said that throughout his career he has become most passionate about privacy-by-design technologies.

“It is by far the most effective element of data protection,” Or-Hof said. “I was fortunate to find counter parties in our clients to jointly lead reviews and analysis discussions where we have dissected products and services, studied system architecture, data flows and security measures and came up with solutions for creating a better privacy-protecting environment.”

Or-Hof offered three key tips for privacy professionals as they advance in their careers.

“Make sure you learn something new every day,” Or-Hof said. “Get to the nuts and bolts of everything you do, while (still) seeing the big picture at the same time. And don’t be afraid to dream.”

Latin America — Pablo Palazzi

Latin America's IAPP Vanguard Award winner is Allende & Brea Partner Pablo Palazzi. Palazzi’s privacy journey has seen him involved in the drafting of Argentina's national data protection act and its regulations and the data protection law for the city of Buenos Aires. He was a foreign law advisor for the European Commission assessing the adequacy of Uruguay and Argentina.

“I’m very happy to be recognized by my peers who are part of this community,” Palazzi said. “I started with IAPP when I would send out bulleted news about privacy in Argentina and South America before there was an internet, so this means a lot.”

Palazzi said his experience working with European regulators to introduce the EU General Data Protection Regulation was invaluable when it came time for Argentina to modernize its privacy laws.

“It’s great to modernize your own laws, and to modernize your laws means you have to cooperate,” Palazzi said. “Because I studied the development of (EU) GDPR from the moment it started, I was aware of all the nuances and details. We wanted to use the federal law of Argentina as a model but to update it with respect to new matters like biometric data, or genetic data, and the reference to the internet as public source of personal data, and a better regulation of the judicial process of habeas data."

North America — Barbara Lawler

North America’s IAPP Vanguard Award winner is Information Accountability Foundation Chief Operating Officer and Senior Strategist Barbara Lawler, CIPP/US, CIPM, FIP. Throughout her 23-year career, Lawler has been recognized as a privacy leader and speaker, and her expertise has been sought by leading American and global policymakers.

“It’s incredibly gratifying to receive this Vanguard Award, my career in privacy predates the IAPP itself,” Lawler said. “For those of us who’ve been in privacy for a really long time, it’s amazing to see how the profession has evolved. I'm especially proud of the number of people I've brought into the privacy profession.” 

Before accepting her job with IAF, Lawler’s career features successful stops as the chief privacy officer at Hewlett Packard, Intuit and most recently with Looker Data Sciences, which was acquired by Google Cloud. She said that throughout her privacy journey, one common thread she wove through each of her jobs was implementing a strategic, values-based approach that puts users at the center of attention of whatever products her company was building.

For Lawler, this meant leading organizations to operationalize their values beyond just the technical components of data protection systems.

“To me, the validation is not just about the strategic approach used to operationalize privacy and data about people, it’s more than the legal definitions, it's about data stewardship and ethics,” Lawler said. “Frameworks and principles have to be first, which then creates a governance structure and strategy. Then, when you encounter different laws and regulations, you can slot them in your governance and strategy into where it fits best.”

Oceania — Anna Johnston

Oceania’s IAPP Vanguard Award winner is Salinger Privacy Director and Principal Anna Johnston, CIPP/E, CIPM, FIP. Johnston’s career in privacy began in the late 1990s when she assisted the state of New South Wales to implement a new privacy law. From that point, she said she was “hooked” on the industry.

"I absolutely love working in the field of privacy because it is a human rights field, but also because the pace of technological change means that there is always something new to learn about,” Johnston said. “I love the challenge of turning my mind to what the implications might be of each new development.”

As her career evolved alongside the privacy field, Johnston said one of her proudest accomplishments has been assisting individuals and organizations in making sense of complex privacy laws for compliance purposes. Her work includes producing plain language guides to deidentification and algorithmic systems for the privacy community.

“One of the things I'm passionate about is helping to translate privacy law into pragmatic guidance for nonexperts, and to demystify tech for privacy professionals,” Johnston said. “That is something I have tried to do consistently from when I was in-house counsel, through being a regulator, through to the work we do for clients at Salinger Privacy, as well as for a wider audience by writing a regular blog, speaking publicly at events for the privacy community, and being actively engaged in collaborative educational efforts.”

Johnston said the steep learning curve that comes with working in the privacy field should not be daunting for professionals in the industry.

“It is so important for privacy professionals to wrap their head around the technology, instead of ignoring it or treating it as unknowable magic,” Johnston said. “Read widely, engage with others, and listen.”

Photo by Erwan Hesry on Unsplash


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