North Carolina Hires State’s First Ever “Chief Privacy Officer” To Fight Cyberattacks


In an effort to tighten privacy practices and further protect data from cyberattacks and accidental exposure, the NC Department of Information Technology has appointed Cherie Givens as our state’s first ever “Chief Privacy Officer” (CPO).

As the inaugural CPO, Givens will be tasked with managing risk related to information privacy laws and compliance regulations.  The role was created to allow for stronger authority for making privacy decisions and protecting the interests of North Carolina residents, businesses, and visitors.

“Security is critical, and everything we do has to be built on the foundation of cybersecurity and privacy,” said North Carolina State Chief Information Officer Jim Weaver.  “We have a tremendous responsibility to ensure that we are keeping identities and data secure and private.”

Givens will build a strategic and comprehensive statewide privacy program through leadership, development of clear objectives, policy development, and building relationships with stakeholders and business partners.  The privacy program will be tailored to the state of North Carolina that defines, develops, maintains and implements policies and processes that enable consistent and effective information privacy practices.

Givens is a Certified Information Privacy Professional (CIPP/US) and an attorney with more than 20 years of experience.  She is joining NCDIT after more than a decade spent supporting federal privacy programs and brings expertise in creating, assessing and maturing privacy programs.  Givens has supported privacy at the U.S. Department of Homeland Security Immigration and Customs Enforcement, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, the U.S. Government Publishing Office and the U.S. Department of Defense.

Givens has taught graduate level privacy and information science courses at San Jose State University, University of Alberta and the University of Maryland.  She also is the author of Information Privacy Fundamentals for Librarians and Information Professionals as well as several book chapters on the topics of information privacy, cybersecurity and information governance.

Givens earned a Juris Doctor from Louisiana State University and a Doctor of Philosophy in Library, Archival and Information Studies from the University of British Columbia.

What do you think about the new position?