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Official Photo of Katherine Harman-Stokes
Staff Profile
Acting Director

Katherine Harman-Stokes

Ms. Harman-Stokes currently serves as the Director (Acting) of the U.S. Department of Justice Office of Privacy and Civil Liberties (OPCL). The Office supports the Department’s Chief Privacy and Civil Liberties Officer (CPCLO) in fulfilling statutory and other duties. OPCL consists of specialized attorneys and privacy professionals and is responsible for ensuring the compliance of the Department’s 42 components with existing laws, regulations, and policies designed to protect the privacy and civil liberties of individuals. OPCL also ensures that concerns about privacy and civil liberties are appropriately considered in the development and implementation of laws, regulations, and policies related to the Department’s mission. In addition, OPCL plays a central policy-making role in the Department’s development and evaluation of legislative, regulatory, and other policy proposals affecting privacy, both domestically and internationally. OPCL provides administrative support to the new Data Protection Review Court (DPRC), the second layer of a two-layer independent and binding redress process, a critical pillar in the new EU-U.S. Data Privacy Framework.

Ms. Harman-Stokes has directly participated in working groups, international negotiations and other efforts designed to harmonize high standards for protection of privacy and civil liberties internationally, including when governments access personal data for law enforcement, national security, and other public interest purposes. Among others, she has participated in the U.S.-EU Trade and Technology Council, the OECD Declaration on Government Access to Personal Data Held by Private Sector Entities, Council of Europe Cybercrime Convention (“Budapest Convention”) Second Additional Protocol, G7 Data Protection Authority Roundtable, and Financial Action Task Force, e.g., Partnering in the Fight Against Financial Crime.

Before joining the Department, she was the Chief Privacy Officer at the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission. She also advised multinational companies as a consultant, and was a corporate officer and the Associate General Counsel at a company collecting sensitive biometric and other data in 110 countries. In addition, she was an associate at a top tier Washington, DC law firm, Hogan & Hartson (now Hogan Lovells). She received her law degree at the University of Virginia School of Law, and her undergraduate degree magna cum laude at American University’s School of International Service and School of Communications. She is an IAPP Certified Information Privacy Professional-US and Government (CIPP/US, CIPP/G). 

Updated January 29, 2024