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The Privacy Advisor | Vanguard Award nomination deadline looms Related reading: Data privacy requests metrics: Lessons for your privacy program

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“Coming from the IAPP, which applies high standards, the award is especially meaningful. The award is a capstone of a privacy pro's career. Winning the Vanguard Award was a wonderful affirmation for me of the decades I have spent in the privacy field." 

Chris Wolf

Awards season is upon us. Not the Oscars or the SAGs. It’s 2016 Vanguard Award nomination time, of course.

Unsure what the award is all about? It is a tangible recognition of immense achievement by a professional in the privacy or data protection field, chosen by the IAPP Board of Directors. One winner is selected annually and to qualify nominees must be “IAPP members (nominated by their peers) who display leadership in all aspects of their professional achievements,” said IAPP Member Engagement Coordinator Amanda Charbonneau, CIPP/US.

For those of you keeping a close watch on the annual award, it might seem a little early to be asking for nominations. That's because this year the award will be announced in spring rather than fall in order to recognize an individual award winner at the global privacy conference, the IAPP Global Privacy Summit

The award is considered by winners and nominees alike to be an accolade of considerable honor.

“The Vanguard Award reflects among the highest levels of recognition a privacy professional can receive,” said last year’s recipient, Christopher Wolf of Hogan Lovells. “Coming from the IAPP, which applies high standards, the award is especially meaningful. The award is a capstone of a privacy pro's career. Winning the Vanguard Award was a wonderful affirmation for me of the decades I have spent in the privacy field. I truly appreciated and was honored by the recognition from my peers." 

Indeed, the winner will be joining an esteemed group of Vanguard alumni, like Intel Corporation’s David Hoffman, CIPP/US (2014 winner), and the Center for Democracy and Technology’s Nuala O'Connor, CIPP/G, CIPP/US (2005 winner). 

“I know two Vanguard Winners relatively well:  Jennifer Stoddart and Christopher Wolf,” said IAPP Canadian Managing Director and Partner at nNovation Kris Klein, CIPM, CIPP/C. “They have several attributes in common and I think that privacy pros that aspire to be more like them would be doing their career a great service. Most of all, what stands out for me, is the leadership qualities these two outstanding individuals possess. In fact, Commissioner Stoddart’s achievements weren’t only celebrated within the privacy community through the Vanguard Award, she was recently honored by her entire country in being awarded the Order of Canada in December 2015. I’m sure if Chris were Canadian that he’d be a serious contender for that honor as well.”

Other recipients have used their winning status to advocate for a cause close to their heart. Hoffman used his acceptance speech at the 2014 IAPP Privacy Academy event to beseech support for the #datainnovationpledge. "The public needs to understand that our organizations can be trusted,” he said. “Doctors pledge to do no harm; lawyers promise to protect the Constitution, and privacy pros must commit themselves to the ethical use of data to protect people’s lives.” As a result, many privacy advocates took him up on his challenge. 

For those interested in nominating a coworker or even yourself send an application containing a one-page description of Vanguard-specific accomplishments, as well two letters of recommendation from individuals who have first-hand understanding of the applicant’s talents and contributions and who are IAPP members to awards@iapp.org. Nominations are cost-free to submit, and will be accepted until January 25. Remember, only IAPP members are eligible to win.

The 2016 winner will be announced publicly on April 6 at the IAPP Global Privacy Summit in Washington.

Don’t let a worthy associate be Leo DiCaprioed, forever a Vanguard Award bridesmaid. Nominate today.

For more information on the Vanguard Award and the nomination process, check out our website

Top image: Chris Wolf (right) accepts the 2015 IAPP Privacy Vanguard Award from IAPP President and CEO J. Trevor Hughes.

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