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Walmart Appoints Nuala O'Connor to Oversee 'Digital Citizenship'

Amazon, Homeland Security veteran will focus on responsible use of data
Photograph by WGB Staff

Walmart has appointed a technology policy expert, Nuala O’Connor, to the new role of senior VP and chief counsel of digital citizenship.

Reporting to Rachel Brand, Walmart’s EVP of corporate governance, O’Connor will focus on how Walmart uses data and technology in a way that supports the company’s goal to be the most trusted retailer.

“This digital citizenship function will counsel the company on issues related to privacy, use of data and data governance, emerging technologies, cybersecurity and records management,” Brand said. “They will advise not only on whether we may legally use data or technology in a particular way, but also on what effect that use would have on our relationship of trust with our customers and stakeholders. I can’t think of anyone better than Nuala O’Connor to serve in this new role. She is an internationally recognized expert in technology policy, and her vast experience in data privacy, information governance and emerging technology issues makes her a perfect fit for this role.”

O’Connor has more than 20 years of technology policy and legal leadership experience, having worked at the Center for Democracy and Technology, Amazon, General Electric and the U.S. Department of Homeland Security.

Nuala O'Connor

Nuala O'Connor

“Walmart is one of the most important and influential companies in America and around the world,” O’Connor said. “I am thrilled to join the business and look forward to working on responsible digital citizenship as technology transforms the retail industry and the daily lives of our associates, customers and communities.”

O’Connor was most recently at the Center for Democracy and Technology, a global nonprofit focused on digital civil liberties, where she was president and CEO. In the private sector, she was both VP of compliance and customer trust and associate general counsel for privacy and data protection for Amazon and chief privacy leader for General Electric. She also held both privacy leadership and legal counsel roles at DoubleClick.

In the public sector, O’Connor was the first chief privacy officer for the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, deputy director of the Office of Policy and Strategic Planning and chief counsel of technology for the U.S. Department of Commerce. O’Connor began her legal career in private practice at Sidley Austin, Venable and Hudson Cook.

She holds a Bachelor of Arts from Princeton University in New Jersey, a Master of Education from Harvard University in Cambridge, Mass., and a Juris Doctor from Georgetown University Law Center in Washington, D.C.

In a separate announcement, Megan Crozier will join the retailer’s Sam’s Club division as its new chief merchant. Crozier is a 16-year veteran of Walmart who has held various buying and merchandising roles, including most recently SVP and general merchandise manager of packaged goods.

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