Elizabeth Denham, Former ICO Commissioner, Joins Information Accountability Foundation as Chief Policy Strategist

July 11, 2023

The Information Accountability Foundation (IAF) is thrilled to announce Elizabeth Denham CBE will become Chief Policy Strategist replacing IAF founding Executive Director and Chief Strategist, Marty Abrams, who will move to emeritus status later this year. Liz will join IAF President Barb Lawler to lead the organization starting on September 18, 2023, reporting directly to the IAF Board. The IAF is a non-profit independent think tank whose research and education mission focuses on accountability by design and AI governance, while enabling data to serve people and society.

Liz, as Chief Policy Strategist, will drive the IAF’s strategy and areas of research aligned to the IAF mission, collaborate closely with the IAF strategists, and provide thought leadership for the organization, including the approach to key IAF engagements and events. She brings over 20 years of strategic policy and regulatory experience as the former UK Information Commissioner, Canadian Federal and Provincial Commissioner roles, and delivering global perspectives on data protection, accountability, digital regulation, and data ethics. 

Liz will continue working as an international adviser for Baker McKenzie’s global Data and Technology Practice, a Trustee for 5Rights Foundation, the Jersey Data Protection Authority (JDPA) and serving as an IAPP Board Member. 

“My work and values have always been about enhancing the reputation of digital technology and its contribution to improving our lives,” said Denham “Information technology fed by data drives modern life.  It is more important than ever for data to serve people, both as individuals and society.  I am delighted to join a think tank where this is the mission.”  

“Elizabeth Denham is a progressive, global thought-leader, and the IAF team and its board could not be more pleased to have her remarkable and substantive international policy leadership to the IAF,” said Barb Lawler, IAF President.

“The IAF Executive Committee and Board are excited to welcome Liz to this critical leadership role.  I have personally known Liz for almost 20 years, and she represents the absolute best of our field and is one of the most strategic, innovative thinkers out there.  I am also pleased that Marty will remain in an emeritus status as the IAF continues to develop balanced, innovative solutions for our most complex data protection challenges,” said Scott Taylor, IAF Board Chair.

Marty Abrams founded the IAF in 2013 as the natural outgrowth of the Global Accountability Dialog, which defined the accountability principle for the 21st century.  During his 35-year plus years in privacy and data protection he contributed to key concepts such as global accountability, data stewardship and data ethics, which are singular and foundational to how the information policy community approaches accountable and effective data use and protection today.

“I am delighted that Liz will be leading IAF strategy,” said Abrams. “She truly believes people need the space to define themselves, and still benefit from data powering advanced analytics. Her work on children’s privacy and international transfers is a demonstration of her vision.”