Walmart announced the addition of Nuala O’Connor, a 20-year technology policy and privacy expert, in a new role as senior vice president and chief counsel of digital citizenship. O’Connor will report directly to Rachel Brand, executive vice president of global governance and corporate secretary for Walmart.
The retailer said O’Connor joins at a time when Walmart is transforming its customer and employee experiences. The new function will focus on how Walmart uses data and technology in a way that supports the company’s goal to be the most trusted retailer in the world.
She brings with her 20 years of experience amassed from work as CEO of the Center for Democracy and Technology, a nonprofit that focused on digital liberties. She also served as vice president of compliance and customer trust and general counsel for privacy and data protection at Amazon. Prior to that, she was the chief privacy leader at General Electric.
In the public sector, O’Connor served as the first chief privacy officer at the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, as deputy director of the Office of Policy and Strategic Planning, and later as chief counsel for technology at the U.S. Department of Commerce.
She began her legal career in private practice at Sidley Austin, Venable, and Hudson Cook. She has a bachelor’s degree from Princeton University, a master’s in education from Harvard University, and a law degree from Georgetown University Law Center.
“Walmart is one of the most important and influential companies in America and around the world,” O’Connor noted in the release. “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.”
Brand said the new Digital Citizenship function will counsel the company on issues related to privacy, use of data and data governance. emerging technologies, cybersecurity and records management.
“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,” Brand noted in the release.