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Harriet Pearson
Partner, Washington, D.C.
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Harriet Pearson's practice focuses on cybersecurity and privacy, where she has many years of leading-edge experience. She also provides general advisory services to clients, drawing on two decades of executive-level business and in-house legal experience.

She advises companies and boards of directors on legal risk assessments and mitigation strategies; enterprise-wide governance and compliance programs; security and privacy incident responses and remediation; investigations and enforcement; cross-border data transfers; regulatory compliance; and legislative, regulatory, and self-regulatory processes.

Recognized by Lawdragon in May 2015 as one of the 500 "Leading Lawyers in America" and dubbed by another legal publication as the "First Lady of Privacy," Harriet is one of the first and longest-serving chief privacy officers in the Fortune 500 and an internationally recognized corporate data privacy and security pioneer. Harriet joined Hogan Lovells in 2012 from the IBM Corporation, where she served as Vice President Security Counsel and Chief Privacy Officer and was responsible for global information policies and practices affecting more than 400,000 employees and thousands of vendors and clients. From 2006-12 she coordinated IBM-wide reporting and response to all data and cyber incidents. She also led IBM's global engagement in public policy and industry initiatives relative to cybersecurity and data privacy, and has extensive experience with the legal and policy issues implicated by the digital age. The multi-disciplinary nature of her executive leadership experience, which includes assignments in senior legal, communications, human resources, and public affairs roles, enables Harriet to provide clients with uniquely informed and strategic perspectives on some of the most significant issues on today's corporate agendas.

Harriet co-chairs the Georgetown Cybersecurity Law Institute, serves on the ABA President's Cybersecurity Task Force, and served on the CSIS Commission on Cybersecurity for the 44th Presidency. She graduated with honors from the UCLA School of Law and from Princeton University, where she earned a degree in engineering.

  • Top-5 U.S. commercial bank, two of the top-5 U.S. energy and utility companies, top-5 U.S. communications provider, two of the world's largest media and entertainment companies as cybersecurity counsel.
  • Top-5 U.S. defense contractor in performing a comprehensive review of the company's cybersecurity program working with senior management and the board of directors.
  • The Home Depot as coordinating and regulatory counsel for the company's response to a 50 million+ payment card data breach.
  • Bloomberg LP in conducting a high-profile comprehensive review on a highly compressed timetable of client data privacy and security practices.
  • Uber in conducting a comprehensive review of the company's customer data privacy program.
  • Major insurance company in leading internal investigation of sophisticated cyber attack and briefing company's board of directors on findings and going-forward recommendations.

Hogan Lovells Publications
18 November 2015 "New York Department of Financial Services Previews Rigorous Cybersecurity Rules for Financial Sector." Cybersecurity Alert, Hogan Lovells

6 October 2015 "Safe Harbor Invalidated – What Next?"

29 July 2015 "Vehicle Cybersecurity and Privacy Legislation Introduced." Cybersecurity and Privacy Alert, Hogan Lovells

28 July 2015 "Seventh Circuit Finds Article III Standing Following Data Breach, but Significant Hurdles Remain for Plaintiffs Seeking Recovery." Cybersecurity and Litigation Alert, Hogan Lovells

01 April 2015 "Executive Order Authorizes Economic Sanctions as New Tool for U.S. Cyber Defense." Cybersecurity Alert and Economic Sanctions Alert, Hogan Lovells

06 March 2015 "NTIA Launches Multistakeholder Process to Develop Privacy Best Practices for Commercial and Private Unmanned Aircraft Systems." Unmanned Aircraft Systems Alert and Privacy Alert, Hogan Lovells

24 February 2015 "New Study Provides Cybersecurity Insights for Corporate Counsel." Cybersecurity Alert, Hogan Lovells

18 February 2015 "White House Releases Memorandum on Safeguarding Privacy, Civil Rights, and Civil Liberties in the Domestic Use of Unmanned Aircraft Systems." Unmanned Aircraft Systems and Privacy Alert, Hogan Lovells

23 December 2014 "Legislative Proposal on Privacy and Commercial Use of Unmanned Aircraft Systems Provides Potential Roadmap for Regulation."

18 July 2014 "2014 Intelligence Authorization Act Requires Contractors to Report Cybersecurity Breaches." Cybersecurity Alert, Hogan Lovells

21 May 2014 "EU High Court Grants "Right to Be Forgotten" and Expands Privacy Jurisdiction Over Foreign Companies: What Should Businesses Operating Outside of Europe Do Now?" Privacy Alert, Hogan Lovells

22 April 2014 "DOJ and FTC Clarify Antitrust Implications of Cybersecurity Information Sharing." Antitrust, Competition and Economic Regulation Alert, Hogan Lovells

12 March 2014 "Department of Education Clarifies Obligations of Schools When Contracting With Online Service Providers." Education and Privacy Alert, Hogan Lovells

25 February 2014 "New U.S. Cybersecurity Framework Issued: In Wake of Cyberattacks and Lawsuits, How Should Organizations Respond?" Cybersecurity Alert, Hogan Lovells

11 July 2013 "Corporate social media: a high-level risk assessment." Global Media and Communications Quarterly: social media, Hogan Lovells

05 July 2013 "Global Media and Communications Quarterly: Focus on Social Media." GMC Quarterly, Hogan Lovells

08 April 2013 "Continuing Resolution Funds the Federal Government for FY 2013 but Introduces China Cyber-espionage Provision." Cybersecurity Alert, Hogan Lovells

25 January 2013 "FFIEC proposes social media compliance guidance; comments due March 25, 2013." Financial Institutions Group Alert, Hogan Lovells

17 December 2012 "Cybersecurity: The Corporate Counsel's Agenda.", Hogan Lovells

21 September 2012 "Senate Commerce Committee’s Probe of Corporate Cybersecurity is Unprecedented and Poses Many Challenges." Cybersecurity Alert, Hogan Lovells

Published Works
29 November 2015 "Lawyer Limelight: Harriet Pearson." By John Ryan, 2015 Magazine Limelights, Lawdragon

June 2015 "Executive Order Authorizes Economic Sanctions as New Tool for U.S. Cyber Defense." Cyber Risk Hub, WGA

18 February 2014 "The Biggest Takeaways From the Final NIST Cybersecurity Framework – Harriet Pearson." LXBN

28 October 2013 "The Politics of Privacy." LACCA

25 April 2013 "Testimony of Harriet Pearson before the House Committee on Homeland Security."

18 March 2013 "A Duty to Patch? Consumer Protection Law Used to Impose Duty to Secure Software and Mobile Devices." Privacy & Security Law Report, Bloomberg BNA

March 15, 2013 "Privacy & Data Security Update." ABA Antitrust Section, American Bar Association

March 2013 "Guest Editor's Insight - FTC's Settlement with HTC." E-Finance & Payments Law & Policy

12 February 2013 "Harriet Pearson on Sen. Rockefeller's Cybersecurity Approach." TheCorporateCounsel.net

17 December 2012 "Cybersecurity: The Corporate Counsel's Agenda." Privacy & Security Law Report, Bloomberg BNA

30 November 2012 "Ex-IBM Privacy Officer on Preparing for the Future of Cybersecurity." Corporate Counsel

26 September 2012 "Senate Commerce Committee’s Probe of Fortune 500 Corporate Cybersecurity is Unprecedented; Responses Requested Oct. 19." Focus on Regulation, Hogan Lovells

10 September 2012 "Obama Cybersecurity Order Could Impose Regulations, Observers Say." The Bureau of National Affairs, Bloomberg

Government Regulatory
Privacy and Cybersecurity
Corporate Governance
Media and Entertainment
Energy and Natural Resources
Financial Institutions
  • Privacy and Cybersecurity Governance, Risk Management, and Compliance
  • Incident Response and Remediation
  • Cross-border Data Transfers
  • Global Privacy Compliance
  • Public Policy and Self-Regulation
  • Innovation in Law and Business
Chronicle of Data Protection
Focus on Regulation
J.D., with honors, Order of the Coif, University of California, Los Angeles School of Law, 1990 B.S.E., cum laude, Princeton University, 1985
  • Member, ABA President's Cybersecurity Legal Task Force
  • Co-Chair, Georgetown University Cybersecurity Law Institute
  • Member, Standing Committee on Law and National Security, ABA
  • Advisory Board, Electronic Privacy Information Center (EPIC)
  • Advisory Board, Future of Privacy Forum
  • Steering Committee, Executive Women in Privacy
  • Founder, IAPP Pro Bono Privacy Initiative
  • Founding Board Member, UCLA Law Women LEAD Initiative
  • Advisory Board, American Ditchley Foundation
  • One of 500 "Leading Lawyers in the United States," Lawdragon, 2015
  • Legal 500 U.S., Leading Individual, and Top-Tier practice, Cybercrime, 2015
  • Legal 500 U.S., Technology: Data Protection and Privacy, 2013 -2014
  • Euromoney LMG Americas Women in Business Law Award, Rising Star: Corporate, 2014
  • "Woman of Influence" Award, 2012
  • IAPP Vanguard Award, for leading individual in field of privacy, 2007
BAR ADMISSIONS / QUALIFICATIONS District of Columbia Certified Information Privacy Professional (CIPP) U.S. Top Secret Clearance (inactive)