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Harriet Pearson

Washington, D.C.
New York

Harriet Pearson
+1 202 637 5477 (Washington, D.C.)
+1 212 918 5548 (New York)
+1 202 637 5910 (Washington, D.C.)
+1 212 918 3100 (New York)
Practice Group

Harriet Pearson is an internationally recognized corporate data privacy and cybersecurity pioneer. She brings decades of leading-edge experience advising companies and boards on cyber and data risk management and governance, breach preparedness and response, crisis management, global data privacy compliance, and public policy strategies.

Recognized by Lawdragon in May 2015 as one of the 500 "Leading Lawyers in America" and dubbed the "First Lady of Privacy" by another legal publication, Harriet helps clients think through and address some of the highest-risk and strategic issues of our time. She advises companies in multiple industries 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.

Harriet has had roles in senior legal, corporate affairs, human resources, and public policy assignments. This multidisciplinary executive leadership experience enables Harriet to provide clients with individually informed, practical, and strategic perspectives on some of the most significant issues facing today's corporate leaders.

Harriet joined Hogan Lovells in 2012 from the IBM Corporation, where she served as Vice President Security Counsel and Chief Privacy Officer (CPO). During her 12-year tenure as IBM's CPO, she coordinated global reporting and response to all data and cyber incidents. She also led IBM's global engagement in public policy and industry initiatives around cybersecurity and data privacy.

Harriet co-chairs the Georgetown Cybersecurity Law Institute, serves on the American Bar Association (ABA) President's Cybersecurity Task Force, and served on the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) Commission on Cybersecurity for President Barack Obama.

She graduated with honors from the UCLA School of Law and from Princeton University, where she earned an engineering degree.

Representative Experience

Assessed and reported on Uber's customer data privacy program.

Served as coordinating and regulatory counsel for The Home Depot's response to a US$50m+ payment card breach.

Conducted a cybersecurity assessment for board of directors and senior management of a top-5 U.S. defense contractor.

Conducted a comprehensive review of Bloomberg LP's client data privacy and security practices, with resulting report published by client.

Lead investigation of sophisticated cyberattack and brief client's board of directors about legal issues and options.

Cybersecurity counsel for multiple critical infrastructure companies including banks, energy companies, and communications companies.

Led cross-industry business coalition to advocate on National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) Cybersecurity Framework.

Global privacy counsel to leading cloud computing company, which received approval of Binding Corporate Rules with the assistance of Hogan Lovells.

Education and admissions


  • 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


  • Advisory Board, American Ditchley Foundation
  • Advisory Board, Electronic Privacy Information Center (EPIC)
  • Advisory Board, Future of Privacy Forum
  • Co-Chair, Georgetown University Cybersecurity Law Institute
  • Founder, IAPP Pro Bono Privacy Initiative
  • Founding Board Member, UCLA Law Women LEAD Initiative
  • Member, ABA President's Cybersecurity Legal Task Force
  • Member, Standing Committee on Law and National Security, ABA
  • Steering Committee, Executive Women in Privacy

Bar admissions and qualifications

  • Certified Information Privacy Professional (CIPP)
  • District of Columbia
  • New York
  • U.S. Top Secret Clearance (inactive)


Privacy & Data Security (Nationwide)

Chambers USA


Privacy & Data Security (USA)

Chambers Global


Media, Technology, and Telecoms: Cyber Law (Including Data Protection and Privacy), Leading Lawyer

Legal 500 US


Cyber Law (Including Data Protection and Privacy), Top-Tier Practice

Legal 500 US


One of 500 "Leading Lawyers in the United States"



Americas Women in Business Law Awards: Rising Star: Corporate

Euromoney LMG


Technology: Data Protection and Privacy

Legal 500 US


Women of Influence Awards: Corporate Practitioner

Executive Women's Forum: Information Security, Risk Management & Privacy


IAPP Privacy Vanguard Award

International Association of Privacy Professionals (IAPP)

Latest thinking and events

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