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Harriet Pearson
Partner, Washington, D.C.
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Harriet Pearson is a partner in the Washington, D.C. office of Hogan Lovells, where her practice focuses on privacy and cybersecurity. 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. Her clients include a diverse group of global businesses in the information technology, financial information services, automotive, publishing, marketing and advertising, retail, energy, and consumer products industries.

Dubbed by one 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 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 over 400,000 employees and thousands of vendors and clients. At IBM 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, and has extensive experience with the legal and policy issues surrounding business engagement with social media and the Internet.

Harriet currently co-chairs the Georgetown University Cybersecurity Law Institute and serves on the ABA President’s Task Force on Cybersecurity and on the advisory boards of the Electronic Privacy Information Center and the Future of Privacy Forum. She 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 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."

In 2012 the Executive Women’s Forum presented her with its Corporate Practitioner "Woman of Influence" award for cybersecurity, privacy and risk management.

Harriet has extensive experience with U.S. and other national and international regulatory and legislative processes, appearing before the Congress, Federal Trade Commission, Commerce Department, and other federal and state bodies. She 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 addressed a wide variety of business, government, technical, 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, the University of Michigan, George Washington University, and the University of Johannesburg, among other institutions.

Harriet graduated with honors from the UCLA School of Law (Order of the Coif) and Princeton University, where she majored in civil engineering.

Hogan Lovells Publications
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
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

20 May 2015 - 21 May 2015
Georgetown Cybersecurity Law Institute

08 March 2015 - 11 March 2015
27th Annual ROTH Conference

04 March 2015 - 06 March 2015
IAPP Global Privacy Summit 2015

19 February 2015
Workshop: Getting Approved To Fly: Regulatory and Business Hurdles to Operating Unmanned Aircraft Systems in the U.S. and around the World

18 November 2014 - 20 November 2014
IAPP Europe Data Protection Conference

Government Regulatory
Privacy and Information Management
Energy and Natural Resources Group
Media and Entertainment
Life Sciences and Healthcare
  • Privacy and Information Security Policy and Compliance
  • Cross-border Data Transfers
  • Data Security Incident Response and Remediation
  • Information and Cybersecurity Risk Management and Governance
  • Social Media Governance
  • Unmanned Aircraft Systems
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
  • Advisory Board, American Ditchley Foundation
  • Former Member, CSIS Commission on Cybersecurity for the 44th Presidency
  • Euromoney LMG Americas Women in Business Law Award,  Rising Star: Corporate, 2014
  • Legal 500 U.S., Technology: Data Protection and Privacy, 2013 -2014
  • “Woman of Influence” Award, 2012
  • IAPP Vanguard Award, 2007
BAR ADMISSIONS / QUALIFICATIONS District of Columbia Certified Information Privacy Professional (CIPP) U.S. Top Secret Clearance (inactive)