Research Data Governance & Privacy Director

87950 Requisition #


Stanford University, a global leader in higher education, seeks an experienced professional to serve as the University’s Research Data Governance & Privacy Director within the Office of the Vice Provost and Dean of Research. This is a unique opportunity to work in a truly entrepreneurial academic community to support the University’s world-class research enterprise. 

Stanford University has a sponsored research project budget of over $1.6 billion, including the SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory (SLAC), and manages more than 6,000 externally sponsored research projects.  A high volume of protected information is essential to support the research enterprise.   The collection, storage, use, and sharing of this information generates many privacy issues and data management issues, particularly in projects that have human subjects. Given the large number of students, alumni, employees, and patients at the University’s affiliated medical center, research privacy and data management issues affect a wide range of constituencies. 

This position requires a subject matter expert in data governance for the conduct of research, domestically and internationally.  The director will serve as a key member of the Stanford University Dean of Research (DoR) Office, reporting directly to the Associate Vice Provost for Research Policy and Integrity.  To promote collaboration and partnership with the University Privacy Office and other units, the director will be a member of the Executive Privacy Governance Council and Privacy Governance Council, both advising the Council and implementing policies and practices agreed on by the Council. The director will work with researchers, the University Privacy Office, and other stakeholders to design and implement best practices and data management plans that support the University’s research mission while ensuring protection of sensitive information, in accordance with regulatory requirements and the University’s values, policies, infrastructure, and operations. 

Principal Responsibilities: 
•    Work across the University, in close collaboration with the University Privacy Office (UPO) and major research stakeholders, including the Research Compliance Office (which oversees the institutional review boards), Institutional Research and Decision Support, Stanford Research Computing Center, Office of Technology Licensing, Research Management Group, Office of Research Administration, and Stanford University Libraries.  Provide expert privacy and data management consultation regarding data sharing agreements for research, research collaborations, clinical trial agreements, and other research projects and agreements.  Serve as a consultative resource to faculty and staff. 
•    Develop strong working relationship with and act as the research liaison to the Stanford Medicine privacy team (including at Stanford Health Care, Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital, and a community hospital and physician networks) to assist with data governance concerning patient medical data used in research projects. 
•    Represent DoR and provide research data management expertise to stakeholders.  Actively participate in UPO meetings and research-related strategic initiatives, and serve on relevant research committees. 
•    Develop strong working relationship with the Office of the General Counsel. 
•    Represent DoR and provide research privacy expertise in the Privacy/ISO Data Risk Assessment (DRA) process. 
•    Contribute as the research privacy expert on the University’s Student Data Oversight Committee.  UPO is responsible for ensuring the privacy of student data, including research uses of student data. 
•    Provide privacy and research integrity expertise, in areas such as secondary use of information for research, data and tissue repositories, precision health, digital health/wearables and artificial intelligence (AI) research, and physiological and genetic research, among other areas.  Together with UPO, stay abreast of ongoing issues related to the identifiability/de-identifiability of research data.
•    Design and promulgate guidelines that help Stanford researchers understand the sensitivity of the data they are collecting, develop appropriate data protection plans, and best practices for keeping data secure in collaboration with the Information Security Office.
•    Develop data management and planning guidance that addresses the lifecycle of data from generation to archival and promotes data sharing and openness in research while ensuring that the privacy and autonomy of research participants are respected, and that confidential/proprietary data are appropriately protected.
•    Guide data management planning to help researchers meet federal funding agency requirements and prepare research data for public use.
•    Assist with identification of key risks to research data at Stanford, and with development of policies and practices to mitigate those risks. 
•    Provide expert consultation on data sharing agreements for research, research collaborations, clinical trial agreements, and other research projects and agreements.
•    Serve as a consultative resource to faculty and staff.

This is a new position within the Dean of Research office, which oversees the conduct of research, and the emphasis will be on consultative support and an operational, solution-oriented approach.  This position will handle research privacy matters specifically, and will be a consulting expert for UPO in connection with UPO’s responsibilities for enterprise privacy policy and procedure development, workforce training, investigation of privacy incidents, breach management and prevention, and privacy across operations (including vendor relationships).   

For consideration, applications must include, as separate documents, a letter of interest and a CV or resume. This position will be considered for an option of telecommuting.

Required Qualifications: 
•    Seven or more years of data governance experience at or on behalf of institutions of higher education, academic medical centers, or research organizations. 
•    Expert knowledge of and experience working with federal and state regulatory requirements for research data, including applications to complex datasets (e.g., “big data” research, clinical trials, digital health, wearable, and AI studies, and social/behavioral and educational research).  
•    Expert knowledge of HIPAA as applied to research.  This position is not a clinical care privacy position, nor a general counsel’s role, but practical experience applying privacy laws to research is required. 
•    Working knowledge of and experience applying international regulatory requirements regarding research data and privacy, including GDPR as applied to research.  Expert knowledge in federal requirements regarding data management and sharing and their juxtaposition with privacy regulations.
•    Excellent interpersonal and listening skills; ability to work well individually and as a team member. 
•    Excellent ability to analyze complex issues, organize, and make recommendations that are achievable within the University environment.  Solution-oriented approach. 
•    Excellent writing and communication skills. Ability to multi-task within necessary timeframes. 
•    Integrity and excellent judgment. 
•    Bachelor’s degree. 

Preferred Qualifications: 
•    J.D., or appropriate combination of education and regulatory compliance experience. 
•    Privacy professional certification. 

•    Constantly perform desk-based computer tasks. 
•    Frequently sitting. 
•    Occasionally stand/walk, reach/work above shoulders, use a telephone, writing by hand, lift/carry/push/pull objects that weigh up to 10 pounds; 
•    Rarely twist/bend/stoop/squat, sort/file paperwork or parts, lift/carry/push/pull objects that weigh 11-20 pounds. 

•    Occasionally work evenings and weekends. 

•    Interpersonal Skills: Demonstrates the ability to work well with Stanford colleagues and clients and with external organizations. 
•    Promote Culture of Safety: Demonstrates commitment to personal responsibility and value for safety; communicates safety concerns; uses and promotes safe behaviors based on training and lessons learned. 
•    Subject to and expected to comply with all applicable University policies and procedures, including but not limited to the personnel policies and other policies found in the University’s Administrative Guide,

We believe Stanford’s future success will be shaped by the diverse perspectives, unique experiences, and inclusive culture of its community.


The job duties listed are typical examples of work performed by positions in this job classification and are not designed to contain or be interpreted as a comprehensive inventory of all duties, tasks, and responsibilities. Specific duties and responsibilities may vary depending on department or program needs without changing the general nature and scope of the job or level of responsibility. Employees may also perform other duties as assigned.


Consistent with its obligations under the law, the University will provide reasonable accommodation to any employee with a disability who requires accommodation to perform the essential functions of his or her job.


Stanford is an equal employment opportunity and affirmative action employer. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, disability, protected veteran status, or any other characteristic protected by law.

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