Along with the headlines “RBC Financial Group Develops Coherent Guidelines for Internet Privacy Management” and “Lawyers Expand Efforts to Avoid GLBA Coverage,” a December 2002 issue of then-Privacy Officers Advisor announced the appointment of 300 members of the International Association of Privacy Officers to new CEO.
Twenty years later, that Executive Director, J. Trevor Hughes, still leads CIPP – but now as President and CEO – this publication is now known as The Privacy Advisor with a circulation of more than 48,000 readers and what once was Die IAPO is now the International Association of Privacy Professionals and has more than 75,000 members.
Treliant Risk Advisors Senior Advisor Agnes Bundy Scanlan, CIPP/US, who served as the organization’s first Chair and hired Hughes 20 years ago, recalled his energy and vision for the organization, both of which have not waned since.
“It’s something that has stuck with me and I’ve seen it as an important part of the IAPP ever since. Trevor had a vision. He had a vision that I didn’t think the rest of us were ready for,” Scanlan said. “Trevor envisioned where we are today and where the organization would grow in 2002.”
Prior to joining the IAPP, Hughes was executive director of the Network Advertising Initiative, a work that brought him to the board’s attention, said Hogan Lovells then-Member, Partner Harriet Pearson, CIPP/US. Hughes stands out, she said, as a privacy expert who knows the subject and offers experience running an association — one in a parallel room at that.
“He started hitting it out of the park. He started creating experiences and serving members in the best possible way,” Pearson said of Hughes’ early years with the organization. “He was one of the first privacy experts. He would have been successful at anything he wanted to do, but this was a special magic sauce.”
Early on, Scanlan said Hughes envisioned an organization that would grow to serve privacy professionals internationally. Anticipating a thriving membership and the support of talented people, over the years he saw the potential to provide services such as in-house programming and new and different ways to support the organization’s growing membership, including regional KnowledgeNet meetings, certification opportunities, and networking and informational events around the world.
Pearson spoke affectionately of Hughes’ ability to “turn ideas into reality,” referring to a conversation they had about an IAPP certification for the IT community when she was IBM’s chief privacy officer, which later came to fruition .
“I think about it all the time. I think that was the best hire I’ve ever had and it lasted 20 years,” Scanlan said. “Then[Trevor]brought in really good people who shared his vision, who had their own vision and insights to add to the strategy of what became this really great organization.”
The IAPP — now headquartered in Portsmouth, NH, and with an office in Brussels, Belgium — began in York, Maine, a location that board members at the time said surprised them. But Pearson said Hughes “made it a strategic decision” to sell the coastal Maine community as a location near but outside of major cities that would recruit competitive talent, the “crème de la crème looking for wonderful careers.” Seeking experiences, but also a wonderful life.”
“He excelled when he saw that we all want the good life, sold that proposal, made it true for himself and his family, and then for all IAPP employees,” Pearson said. “That’s a discussion I remember having with him. “York, Maine. Give me a map, let’s see where the heck that is.” But we enjoyed the experience it created, not just for the board, but for the staff and any visitors who came to this part of the country. ”
Scanlan said that the constant changes and advances in technology, the challenges and issues that arise when it comes to privacy and security, and the role they play in every single organization has not only made the privacy space eternal, but them believes they drive Hughes in his professional work.
Kirk Nahra, co-chair of WilmerHale’s cybersecurity and privacy practice, Kirk Nahra, CIPP/US, who served as editor of the Privacy Officers Advisor in 2002, added that Hughes saw these changes, challenges and issues “at every turn.” successfully mastered.
“He had an approach to every single development that was happening in the field in general and it was all good,” Nahra said. “He has led this organization from the beginning into a mature, sophisticated, really important global organization and that’s really hard.”
Nahra said he has been involved with a number of organizations throughout his career – the IAPP is the longest and most extensive relationship and the one he most regularly promotes to colleagues, colleagues and friends.
“There aren’t that many organizations in that many professions that you really have to be involved with to be in this space,” Nahra said. “Trevor has made it an integral part of this space. That is an impressive achievement.”
Photo by Adi Goldstein on Unsplash