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Jennifer Stoddart

  • Mentor 2015
  • Alumni
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Former Privacy Commissioner
Canadian government

    Jennifer Stoddart was Canada's privacy commissioner from December 2003 until December 2013. Early in her mandate, she recognized that to remain relevant as Canada's privacy guardian, the Office of the Privacy Commissioner of Canada needed to focus attention on the online world. She also worked to raise awareness among Canadians of their privacy rights through enhanced communications, outreach, and research activities. Recognizing Canada's international trade patterns, Stoddart also became involved in global privacy issues through her work with international organizations such as the OECD and the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation, which are examining ways to protect and enhance privacy rights on a global scale.

    Jennifer Stoddart was the 2010 recipient of the International Association of Privacy Professionals' Privacy Vanguard Award, and in June 2011, the Quebec Bar awarded her the distinctions of Avocat émérite and Mérite Christine-Tourigny. She also received the Ontario Bar Association's 2010 Karen Spector Memorial Award for Excellence in Privacy Law, and in 2009, she was awarded the Université du Québec à Montréal's Prix Reconnaissance for her work protecting the privacy rights of Canadians. In 2012, the Washington-based Electronic Privacy Information Center awarded Stoddart its International Privacy Champion Award, and in 2011, Canadian Lawyer magazine named Stoddart to its list of the "Top 25 Most Influential" in the justice system and legal profession in Canada.

    Stoddart was appointed Officer of the Order of Canada in December 2015, "for her international leadership in privacy rights and for her exemplary public service as the privacy commissioner of Canada."

    Stoddart has served on the steering committee of the Group of Heads of Federal Agencies, a network comprising the chief executive officers of more than 100 federal agencies, boards, commissions, tribunals and Crown corporations. She also presided the Commission d'accès à l'information du Québec. While in this position, she published a report entitled The Choice of Transparency that led to important changes to Québec's access to information and data protection legislation mandating that government departments and agencies make more information available to citizens. She has held several senior positions in public administration for the Governments of Québec and Canada since being called to the Québec Bar in 1981.

    Stoddart holds a bachelor of civil law degree from McGill University, a master of arts in history from the University of Québec at Montréal, and a bachelor of arts from the University of Toronto's Trinity College.