"Our Privacy Office is viewed as a leader in the federal government in public outreach and as [a] model for privacy impact assessments." DHS Secretary Janet Napolitano (pictured)

U.S. Department of Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano announced today her appointment of Mary Ellen Callahan as the department's chief privacy officer.

"Homeland security and privacy are not mutually exclusive, and having a seasoned professional like Mary Ellen on the team further ensures that privacy is built in to everything we do," said Napolitano. "Our Privacy Office is viewed as a leader in the federal government in public outreach and as model for privacy impact assessments. I look forward to the skill and experience Mary Ellen will bring to this robust and important office."

For more than 10 years, Callahan has specialized in privacy, security, data protection, consumer protection and e-commerce law, currently as a partner at Hogan & Hartson, LLP. She is the co-chair of Online Privacy Alliance, a self-regulatory group of corporations and associations established to create an environment of trust and foster the protection of individuals' privacy online. Callahan also serves as vice-chair of the American Bar Association's Privacy and Information Security Committee of the Antitrust Division. She holds a Juris Doctor from the University of Chicago Law School and graduated magna cum laude from the University of Pittsburgh.