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Adriana  Sanford

Adriana Sanford

Award-Winning Cybersecurity & Privacy Law Expert, International Advocate, International TV Commentator, CNN Español Analyst


Adriana Sanford is an inspiration around the globe. The award-winning Chilean American cybersecurity and global privacy law expert is an international corporate lawyer, keynote, educator, author, and international television commentator, who appears regularly as a CNN Español analyst to more than 90 million viewers throughout the United States and Latin America. She is a true leader and multidimensional expert with "magnetic and suspenseful delivery," who teaches others how to thrive in the face of adversity. The former in-house counsel of a Fortune 50 company frequently lectures on the valuable skills of resilience and grit. Dr. Sanford is a Senior Fellow with the Center of Intelligence and National Security (CINS) at the University of Oklahoma and the Assistant Director of Executive Education at OU's Gene Rainbolt Graduate School of Business. Read More >

With fluency in four languages, she has lectured at more than 140 industry conferences and continues to shatter barriers for females around the world. In addition to holding several leadership roles with global organizations, such as the World Economic Forum and Amnesty International USA, she teaches courses on ethical leadership, business law, international management, cybersecurity, and global privacy laws, and business ethics to graduate and undergraduate students in the United States and abroad.

During her professional career, Dr. Sanford has faced times of tremendous adversity, including being abducted while on company business. With this setback, she came back stronger and co-authored two books on global threats that were adopted by the largest institute in the world for supply chain leaders. She then further distinguished herself by educating corporate executives, thousands of college students, and the public at large, on the dangers of corporate corruption. Over the last decade, Dr. Sanford has focused her expertise on laws at the international level, where possible outcomes for corporate non-compliance create criminal liability and pose a potential physical danger for executives in foreign territories. A Georgetown Law director describes her as a passionate and determined individual who is "simply not deterred from her path by the obstacles of life."

The international advocate's extensive experience addressing international organized crime and its links to corporate fraud, bribery, and other forms of business malfeasance span well over two decades, including a foreign drug cartel and an illegal scheme involving Russian loans that resulted in the arrest and 30-year imprisonment of her former employer's CEO. She is frequently described as "an audience grabber" and as having "the unique ability to speak to students, captains of industry, and academicians all in the same audience."

Dr. Sanford knows the value of education and the meaning of responsibility and perseverance. In addition to self-supporting her college education and earning a J.D. from the University of Notre Dame Law School, she enrolled in the Graduate Tax program at Georgetown University Law Center. She soon realized that her academic interests were wider than a tax practice and was approved to earn a dual degree in Tax and International & Comparative Law. The dual degree required the completion of specialized course work in two disciplines, including writing substantial research papers in both. Before completing the program, she relocated out-of-state to work and to start a family. Nevertheless, Dr. Sanford was determined to complete the full dual degree while working full-time as an international corporate lawyer. She was focused and determined to reach the goals she had set for herself --- personal, academic, and professional. A decade later, the single mother instilled in her children the same values of education and ethics. Her son, a Caltech graduate, is currently obtaining his Ph.D. at UCLA, while her daughter attends UC Berkeley.

Dr. Sanford is also an advocate, champion, global influencer, and mentor in the STEAM (STEM + the Arts) and cyber fields. She recently received the 2019 Cybersecurity Woman Law and Privacy Professional of the Year Award that celebrates "female cybersecurity leaders changing the world." Dr. Sanford also co-authored Women in Security Changing the Face of Technology and Innovation, which is part of the Women in Science and Engineering book series. She has provided the keynote addresses at some of the world's top conferences, including to hundreds of General Counsel and senior legal leaders from Fortune 1000 companies at the Corporate Counsel's 19th Annual SuperConference. Dr. Sanford has also taught more than 7,300 graduate and undergraduate students through several business schools, including Universidad de Talca, Pepperdine University, Arizona State University, and Loyola Marymount University. She was also a Georgetown Law Dean's Visiting Scholar and the ASU Lincoln Professor of Global Corporate Compliance and Ethics.  More recently, she also serves as a Dean's Visiting Scholar of Cybersecurity and Global Privacy Laws at the Michael F. Price College of Business at the University of Oklahoma.

Select Dr. Sanford as a keynote or featured speaker for your next planned conference or significant gathering. She is an expert at empowering students, employees, teams, and leaders. Read Less ^

Speaker Videos

GDPR and Global Privacy Laws

On Cyber Security and Global Privacy Laws

ISC2 Security Congress Highlight

On Data Brokers

On Cryptocurrency

On Data Protection Reform

Speech Topics

Regulatory Divergence & the Future of Regulation

Learn how emerging technologies such as artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning, the Internet of Things (IoT), distributed ledger technology, and big data analytics impact global regulatory and privacy risks. The era of rapid technological change continues to create new regulatory challenges for governments. Read More >

Regulators around the globe strive to create, modify and enforce new regulations to protect national security, while machines teach themselves to learn and smart devices respond to consumer requests. Private companies partner with regulatory agencies to develop appropriate rules and regulations for emerging products and services. Read Less ^

Data Security, Data Privacy CCPA & GDPR: Complexities of Transferring Personal Data

Landmark rulings and new laws in the US and foreign territories have far-reaching implications on how personal data is being collected, stored, accessed, and used in the United States. As outsourcing and innovative technology continues to sweep the world, many small and medium-sized businesses are looking to one another for guidance on how to adapt their policies to suit the current environment and comply with Data Security, Data Privacy, upcoming CCPA, GDPR and variations therefrom.

Global Threats, Corporate Exposure, Ransom Demands & National Security Risks

Learn how to build awareness and develop guiding principles to combat global threats and navigate through the critical challenges in the age of terrorism. Product counterfeiting and human trafficking sabotage global supply chains, create barriers to corporate profitability, and endanger national security interests. The expectation that a ransom payment can be reimbursed sometimes facilitates the payment by executives; paying ransoms for cyber-attacks, however, fuels terrorist activity and encourages further attacks.

Senior Executive & Corporate Exposure in Foreign Territories: Surviving the New Security Landscape

Significant progress has occurred through the sharing of practices and lessons learned. Consistent legislation in geopolitical areas, however, is not always available. Learn how to ethically protect your company and your team against non-compliance when US laws does not mesh with foreign laws, as decisions may carry personal criminal liability or have strong repercussions on a global scale. Executives need clear guidance as to the way forward when the US and foreign governments fail to endorse consistent principles in the new security landscape.

Breaking a Glass Ceiling While Standing on a Sticky Floor

Resiliency & Grit: Overcoming the Obstacles to Success

Removing Blind Spots: Empowering Women Leaders in the Workplace