Mary Ellen Callahan is the founder and Chair of Jenner & Block’s Privacy and Information Governance Practice. As the longest-serving former Chief Privacy Officer of the United States Department of Homeland Security. Ms. Callahan has a unique and broad knowledge of and experience with the interface of the protection of privacy, civil rights and civil liberties with cybersecurity and corporate information governance issues. She provides advice and counsel to an array of clients in industries that include media, public health and health care, manufacturing, online retail, government contracts, energy and other critical infrastructure sectors.
In October, Ms. Callahan accepted the highest award in the privacy industry, the 2013 Privacy Vanguard Award, given by the International Association of Privacy Professionals. The award honors the privacy professional who has demonstrated outstanding leadership, knowledge and creativity in privacy and data protection In 2011, she received the select Federal 100 Award, which recognizes individuals in government and industry who have played pivotal roles in the federal government information systems community. Ms. Callahan’s work on integrating cybersecurity, transparency and privacy at the Department of Homeland Security was cited as the reason for her Federal 100 recognition. She is a prolific writer and speaker on privacy issues, including having testified before Congressional Committees numerous times in her capacity as Department of Homeland Security Chief Privacy/Chief FOIA Officer. Ms. Callahan has served as Vice-Chair of the American Bar Association's Privacy and Information Security Committee of the Antitrust Division; Co-chair of the Privacy Committee of the CIO Council, the principal interagency forum for improving agency practices related to the design, acquisition, development, modernization, use, sharing, and performance of Federal information resources; and Co-chair of the Privacy and Civil Liberties Subcommittee of the Information Sharing and Access Interagency Policy Committee. She serves the Firm as a member of the Diversity & Inclusion Committee and is a Co-chair of the Firm's Women's Forum Steering Committee.