Skip to main content

County of Santa Clara Hires New Chief Privacy Officer

Chris Pahl’s new role will ensure government transparency while protecting the privacy of employees and residents

SANTA CLARA COUNTY, CALIF.— The County of Santa Clara appointed a new Chief Privacy Officer that brings on board more than two decades of experience in privacy and cybersecurity. Chris Pahl, who starts on Dec. 12, has significant experience and policy vision for balancing government transparency while protecting citizen data. He plans to create a more visible office that provides residents with privacy tips that range from low to high tech.

“Much of our world now operates digitally, and the County government is no exception. We are keenly aware of the risks and responsibilities we carry,” said Greta Hansen, Chief Operating Officer for the County of Santa Clara. “One of the County’s top priorities is to protect the privacy of our residents and all those who seek services from the County. Chris brings proven leadership in data sharing and cybersecurity to grow and expand our work in this mission-critical area.”

One of Mr. Pahl’s goals is to become more consumer-facing, which he envisions as offering more in-person meetings and conversations with the community to share important information and tips on how to stay safe in our increasingly digital world.

Chris Pahl headshot

“The greatest success in my professional career has been getting out in the community and meeting people,” Mr. Pahl said. “I want to provide value, not only to the County to ensure operations are as efficient and effective as possible, but also to residents so they have all the resources they need to protect their data and information.”

Mr. Pahl is a seasoned privacy and compliance program executive who has led large teams focused on global data protection programs. His professional career demonstrates a history of effective oversight and adoption of new privacy standards to complex operations.

Prior to the appointment, Mr. Pahl was a Privacy Compliance Program Leader of Ethics and Compliance for Southern California Edison, where he later became Cybersecurity Senior Governance Manager. He has deep expertise in a wide range of functions related to risk management, ranging from handling of day-to-day incident responses to investigations of significant, complex privacy issues. He has also developed policies, training, communications, incident management, and monitoring and governance of compliance reporting.

Mr. Pahl holds a doctorate in Strategic Leadership from Regent University, a master’s degree in Quality Assurance from California State University, a master’s degree in Organization Leadership from National University, and a master’s degree in Business Administration from the University of Phoenix. He is a Fellow of Information Privacy with the International Association of Privacy Professionals and is a certified Information Privacy Professional. He also holds black and green belt certifications in Lean Six Sigma.


# # #

The County of Santa Clara government serves a diverse, multi-cultural population of 1.9 million residents in Santa Clara County, Calif., making it more populous than 14 states in the U.S. The County provides essential services to its residents, including public health protection, environmental stewardship, medical services through the County of Santa Clara Health System, child and adult protection services, homelessness prevention and solutions, roads, park services, libraries, emergency response to disasters, protection of minority communities and those under threat, access to a fair criminal justice system, and many other public benefits. 
Visit the County of Santa Clara at: 
Like us on Facebook:   
Follow us on Twitter:    


Media Contact: María Leticia Gómez / Quan Vu, Office of Communications and Public Affairs, [email protected], (408) 299-5119

Posted: December 9, 2022