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Adriana  Sanford

Adriana Sanford

Professor, Corporate Lawyer, International TV Commentator & Humanitarian


Adriana Sanford is a Chilean American author, international TV commentator, Georgetown-educated international lawyer, professor, internationally-recognized privacy/cybersecurity scholar, and a humanitarian.  She has worked with a broad range of global organizations to strengthen responsibility and transparency. Through enlightening, inspiring, and entertaining presentations, Sanford delivers high-content, high-energy, customized lectures at a time when corporate dishonesty and corruption dominates public attention and the new security landscape requires a deeper level of scrutiny, increased compliance, and broader accountability. Read More >

A leading expert on transatlantic relations and former Georgetown Law Dean's Visiting Scholar, Sanford has taught courses on business law, ethics, ethical leadership, ethical issues of managers, and principles of international management. She is an Amnesty International USA board member; AI USA is the largest country section of the world's largest grassroots human rights organization. Through education, outreach, speaking engagements and the advocacy of human rights, she continues to build awareness of women in leadership and advancement for social justice and corporate responsibility. 

Sanford recently coauthored the 2018 security book Women in Security Changing the Face of Technology and Innovation, which is part of the Women in Engineering and Science book series. Sanford’s chapter, “A Guide for CEOs and Board of Directors on Multijurisdictional Legal Issues”, discusses the global ramifications of multijurisdictional conflicts under the new security landscape. She is also the lead author of two business ethics books that provide critical insight for current and aspiring security, business, and supply chain professionals, Business Ethics: A Guide to Surviving Storms, Challenges, and Ethical Risks and Ética Empresarial: Una perspectiva global.  

As a writer for the Institute for Supply Management, Sanford publishes a number of articles that cover important and timely aspects of global corporate ethics and compliance. She recently published Balancing Security and Privacy in an Innovative World and Human Trafficking: The Global Economy’s Plague on Humanity.  

Sanford also lectures for numerous non-profit organizations, regularly collaborates with the private sector, and presents at numerous events on global issues, including keynote addresses through the American Program Bureau. Sanford delivered the keynote address for the "Information Security, Privacy and Legal Collaboration" conference sponsored by Hewlett-Packard Company at the 2017 ISSA CISO Executive Forum. In addition, she delivered keynote addresses for the 2017 UTALCA/ CIEPLAN international seminars in Santiago and Talca, "Sociedad sin corrupción: el rol de las empresas y la politica” (sponsored by one of Chile and Latin America's leading think tanks). In 2015, she delivered the keynote address for the Conferencia Latinoaméricana CACS/ISRM, one of the largest IT, telecom, technology and security conferences in Latin America for Spanish-speaking professionals specializing in audit, security, cyber ethics, cyber security, governance and IT risk.  

Sanford is a regularly featured subject matter expert (SME) on CNN Dinero at CNN en Español, the network’s 24-hour Spanish language television broadcasting to more than 24 million viewers in the United States and throughout Latin America. Previously, as the executive producer and host of “A Global Perspective with Dr. Adriana Sanford” (sponsored by Willis Towers Watson), she interviewed thought leaders and seasoned executives from some of America’s leading corporations on issues of theory and practice. Sanford also served on the advisory committee of the World Economic Forum’s Partnering Against Corruption Initiative (PACI), a leading international foundation and business voice on anti-corruption and transparency. Among her research projects, she worked with the World Economic Forum on exploring levels of trust in the infrastructure and urban development industries. In 2016, she worked on Building Foundations for Trust and Integrity --- the World Economic Forum report, which addressed corruption in Latin America, featured Mexico as a case study and as a potential regional model for reform.

She is a former Universidad de Talca Visiting Professor from the Facultad de Economía y Negocios (School of Economics and Business) in Chile, where she taught courses on ethical leadership to undergraduate and MBA students. She currently teaches business law at Loyola Marymount University.  Prior to LMU, Sanford taught business law, ethical leadership, ethical issues of managers, and international management for five years at Arizona State University to more than 1,600 graduate and undergraduate students on an annual basis. In 2015, she also served as ASU’s Lincoln Professor of Global Corporate Compliance and Ethics to 85,000 students and faculty and as ASU's residential college faculty fellow for the College of Liberal Arts & Sciences.  

Sanford chairs the advisory board for the International Institute of Management’s think tank research. Her current scholarly research project focuses on the challenges in managing intellectual property in the new age of internet publishing.  Previously, she served as a delegate to the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation CEO Summit. In 2011, she also served on ASU’s advisory board of the Ira A. Fulton Schools of Engineering EPICS Gold program, a national award-winning social entrepreneurship program designed to provide real world opportunities for undergraduate students to change their world.Sanford’s particular EPICS project focused on technology and sustainability to address social challenges in connection with 8.8 Richter scale earthquake that struck in February 2010 in south-central Chile. 

Prior to teaching, Sanford served as the primary US counsel to several multinational businesses, including one of the largest international trading companies in the Southern Cone region — Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Paraguay and Uruguay. Her clients also have included, among others, one of the world's leading security companies, one of Mexico's largest infrastructure companies, and one of Chile's largest fisheries. Among her in-house positions, she has served as the Assistant General Counsel of a trade finance bank, as well as lead counsel for Latin America and US commercial law counsel for four divisions of a Fortune 50 company.

Academically, Sanford completed six years of law school, receiving a Juris Doctor degree from the Notre Dame Law School and a dual Masters of Law (LL.M.) degree from Georgetown University Law Center in taxation and international and comparative law. She was the first Latin American woman accepted into Georgetown's dual LL.M. program and the only dual LL.M. in her graduating class. Sanford also studied international and comparative law in the yearlong Concannon Program of International Law at the Notre Dame London Law Center in London, England. She then attended Thunderbird School of Global Management for post-graduate studies in global management. Sanford attended an all-girl’s academy in Chile, Villa Maria Academy before receiving her B.A. in political science from Arizona State University, where she focused on comparative politics.  She is fluent in English, Spanish, Portuguese and French and regularly does media interviews in English and Spanish. Read Less ^

Speaker Videos

Data Brokers

Speech Topics

Under a New Security Landscape: Legal Debates Concerning Personal Data, Encrypted Communications & Mass Government Surveillance

Governments face an increasingly complex security landscape and can only begin to envision the technological challenges of tomorrow. While government officials and law enforcement struggle to defend citizens from real security threats, technology companies urge governments to endorse consistent principles and enact reforms that will protect cybersecurity, economic growth, and human rights. Complex jurisdictional and security issues must be addressed through a broader lens, because the solutions may be beyond one country’s national interests and decisions may have strong repercussions on a global scale.

Cross-Border Transfer of Personal Data: Complexities of Transferring Personal Data from the EU & India

As outsourcing and technology continues to sweep the world, many countries are looking to one another for guidance on how to adapt their jurisprudence to suit the current environment. While innovative technology can address societal challenges, landmark rulings on privacy will likely have far-reaching implications on how personal data is collected, stored, accessed, and used.

Ethical Leadership: Advancement for Women in Leadership

Glass ceilings or sticky floors, a growing number of companies are instituting formal, global programs to attract women for senior leadership positions.

Ethical Corporate Leadership: Social Justice, Transparency & Corporate Responsibility

When corporate dishonesty and corruption dominates public attention, the new security landscape requires a deeper level of scrutiny, increased compliance, and broader accountability.

From Teenage Runaway to International TV Commentator & Humanitarian

The ability to survive and thrive with passion and compassion. Taking control of the dynamics of change and creating opportunities to experience something different, rather than being a victim of circumstances.

Inspiring a New Generation: Resilience, Grit & Ethics

In our complex world, there are many barriers ranging from economic difficulties and challenging co-workers to the ever-changing legal and regulatory environment. Today’s youth need to be better prepared to meet these challenges. We need to build a better foundation of trust, endurance, and integrity for tomorrow for the next generation of leaders.

Overcoming Obstacles & Ethically Protecting Your Team

Faced with senior colleagues who were corrupt, unethical and dangerous, it was important to identify the potential weak links, understand how US laws meshed with foreign laws and regulations, where there was corporate exposure, and where potential criminal liability might exist for executives.

A Guide for CEOs & Board of Directors on Multijurisdicional Legal Issues

While significant progress has occurred through the sharing of best practices and lessons learned, “consistent” legislation in geopolitical areas is needed, as well as further training on complex multijurisdictional challenges that remain in the fractured system. The private sector needs clear guidance as to the way forward through these multi-dimensional structures of laws and regulations to balance requirements and restrictions, which in some jurisdictions can also create personal criminal liability for executives for non-compliance.

International Conflicts involving Whistleblower Rights & the Protection of Basic Human Rights

The high personal risk of whistleblowing in the multi-jurisdictional practice of law continues to mount. There has been considerable legal contest over two competing interests: the duty of confidentiality to a former client and the right to reveal information. To what extent does the Freedom of Expression apply when it is perceived that a significant crime would be committed or continued without the whistleblowing action or where there is substantial evidence of legal and physical peril in not addressing the issue promptly?