Federal 100: Mary Ellen Callahan

Mary Ellen Callahan
Chief Privacy Officer
Homeland Security Department

Putting effective cyber defenses in place is not easy, in part because of protests from privacy advocates. Mary Ellen Callahan’s foresight has helped ease many of those concerns.

She assembled a formidable group of advisers to shape the government’s privacy policies and programs. To make sure they could engage in substantive discussions, she hustled to get those advisers the necessary security clearances, which wasn’t easy because the government had never formed such a group before.

As a result of Callahan's efforts, the group has been able to provide input to Obama administration officials as they wrestle with matters of cybersecurity, privacy and civil liberties. Also, as the government’s senior privacy official, Callahan has ensured that privacy is an integral part of cybersecurity.

Read more about the 2011 Federal 100 award winners.

About the Author

Brian Robinson is a freelance writer based in Portland, Ore.

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