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Alex Alben Out as Washington’s Chief Privacy Officer

Wilford Saunders Jr. has been tapped as Alben’s acting replacement. Saunders is a veteran of government IT work with many years of experience in the Washington State Department of Commerce.

Alex Alben is out as Washington’s chief privacy officer, with the state’s website now listing Will Saunders in that position.

Alben’s and Saunders’ respective LinkedIn pages also indicate the change. Saunders is a veteran of technology with the state. Most recently, he served as senior program manager for the open data team within Washington Technology Solutions (WaTech), which is the consolidated technology services agency for the state.

Prior to that role, Saunders held various positions within the Washington State Department of Commerce, including sector lead for information and communications technology, as well as broadband policy and programs director. He’s been with the state dating back to 2008, and prior to that he was with the Washington Utilities and Transportation Commission.

Alben was the first to hold Washington’s chief privacy officer position, which was created in April 2015 by Gov. Jay Inslee. In that capacity, he essentially functioned as a privacy advocate for residents within the state’s government.

Among his accomplishments is leading the creation of Washington’s privacy modeling tool, which left its beta testing stage in early 2017. The privacy modeling tool was basically a platform intended to help agencies build privacy protections into their work.

Alben’s LinkedIn page indicates that he has relocated to Los Angeles as the principal in his own company, Alben Ventures, which “offers strategic consulting services and guidance on privacy compliance and security issues, drawing on twenty years experience as a technology executive.”

Associate editor for Government Technology magazine.