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ONC Names Kathryn Marchesini as Chief Privacy Officer

January 10, 2018
by Rajiv Leventhal
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The Office of the National Coordinator for Health IT (ONC) has named Kathryn Marchesini as the federal agency’s chief privacy officer.

Marchesini, who has been working for the federal government since 2010, actually served as ONC’s acting chief privacy officer in 2014 prior to Lucia Savage being appointed permanently. According to an email that Don Rucker, M.D., National Coordinator for Health IT, sent to ONC staffers today, Marchesini “brings to her new role a wealth of experience as a senior advisor and deputy director for privacy at ONC where she advised staff and stakeholders about privacy and security implications surrounding electronic health information, technology, and health research.”

Deven McGraw was the deputy director of health information policy at the Department of Health & Human Services (HHS)’ Office for Civil Rights (OCR), a position she left in October. She had also been filling in as ONC chief privacy officer following Savage’s departure from the agency early in 2017.

Rucker noted that Marchesini has worked with the National Institutes of Health (NIH), and other federal agencies, “to provide strategic direction and substantive expertise at the intersection of privacy and security law, technology, and healthcare.” In her seven years at HHS, she served as deputy director for privacy, where she led ONC’s privacy team and helped with federal policy, guidance, and education initiatives addressing emerging health IT privacy and security-related issues, according to Rucker’s email.

Before joining HHS in 2010, Marchesini was a strategy and technology consultant at two global management consulting firms where she helped clients bridge the gap between business requirements, technology, and law.

There had been talk that ONC would have to eliminate the Chief Privacy Office in the aftermath of President Trump’s 2018 proposed budget, which at the time called for a $22 million cut to ONC funding. But Rucker has said since then that ONC will work together with OCR to support privacy functions.

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