Mary Ellen Callahan, Vice Chair, Exercising the Duties of Chair of the Board of Trustees

Mary Ellen Callahan, Vice Chairperson

Mary Ellen Callahan is the Vice Chair of the Board of Trustees and is exercising the duties of the Chair of the Board of Trustees. She has unique and broad experience at the interface of privacy protection with cybersecurity and national security; she currently works for the federal government. 

Mary Ellen was the Assistant General Counsel – Privacy with The Walt Disney Company from 2017-2021. She founded and chaired Jenner & Block’s Privacy and Information Governance Practice from 2012-2017 and served as chief privacy officer of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security from March 2009 until August 2012. In October 2013, Mary Ellen received the International Association of Privacy Professionals’ Privacy Vanguard Award, an annual award honoring the privacy professional who demonstrated outstanding leadership, knowledge and creativity in privacy and data protection.

A Chancellor’s Scholar, Mary Ellen received her Bachelor of Philosophy in Political Science, Russian/Eastern European Studies in 1990 from the University of Pittsburgh’s Honors College. She received her Juris Doctor from the University of Chicago School.

Mary Ellen has been a member of the Board of Trustees since 2009 and has served as Vice Chair since February 2020. She has served on various Trustee committees, including chairing the Academic Affairs/Libraries Committee from 2011-2017 and the Student Affairs Committee from 2017-2021. She is also a recipient of the University’s 225th Anniversary Medallion and chaired the University Honors College Board of Visitors.