2019 Government Innovation Awards

Rising Star: Ellen Nadeau

Deputy Manager, Privacy Framework, National Institute of Standards and Technology

Ellen Nadeau  

The National Institute of Standards and Technology’s Cybersecurity Framework was finalized in 2018 to broad acclaim, and the agency wanted to repeat that success by doing the same for privacy standards. The schedule laid out by to develop a new Privacy Framework was relentless.

Officials tapped Ellen Nadeau, who had come to NIST from the National Science Foundation’s Scholarship for Service program, to carry out a diverse set of duties related to the document’s creation. In addition to a role in drafting the framework, she helped schedule meetings and stakeholder events, set up roundtables and workshops, dove into budget issues and took on a range of other tasks.

Despite her relatively short tenure in the federal government, Nadeau consistently impressed her colleagues with her impeccable preparation and confident presentations. According to NIST officials, she was frequently praised by stakeholders for providing timely context and helping to keep the project on track.

“I think it’s her energy and enthusiasm…coupled with a real maturity of judgment,” said Naomi Leftkovitz, a senior privacy policy adviser at NIST. “I don’t think anyone would even be aware of her comparative youth.”

During the intensive, year-long commitment to the Privacy Framework, Nadeau also achieved performance goals under the NIST Privacy Engineering Program and pitched in on other projects, including working on privacy standards for the International Organization for Standardization.

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