The Retail Industry Leaders Association (RILA) today announced Nicholas Ahrens will join the association as Vice President of Privacy and Cybersecurity.
Joining the association from the Office of the General Counsel at the U.S. Department of Commerce, Ahrens will lead RILA's privacy and data security agenda and serve as the lead advocate to the government on cybersecurity, privacy, data security and related issues. In addition, Ahrens will work on the continued development and implementation of RILA's Cybersecurity and Data Privacy Initiative.
Ahrens, who officially joined RILA September 8th, will also staff the RILA Privacy Leaders Council, which is comprised of senior-level executives from America's largest retailers.
"Nick brings valuable insight into the critical privacy and data security challenges retailers face today. His experience will make him an outstanding advocate for the retail industry and we are excited to have him on the RILA team," said RILA President Sandy Kennedy.
Ahrens joins RILA after four years with the U.S. Department of Commerce serving in a number of senior roles including Counsel to the General Counsel, where he provided legal and policy advice on a number of privacy and cybersecurity issues. Earlier in his career with the U.S. Department of Commerce, serving as special assistant to the General Counsel, Ahrens worked on the 2012 White House Consumer Data Privacy Blueprint, coordinating efforts for the roll out of the Blueprint in the European Union.
Ahrens will report to Joe Rinzel, senior vice president for government affairs.
"Nicholas will be a tremendous asset to RILA and our member companies, both in his knowledge of privacy and cybersecurity issues and his deep understanding of the current regulatory climate," said Rinzel.
Ahrens holds a J.D. from Wake Forest University.
RILA is the trade association of the world's largest and most innovative retail companies. RILA members include more than 200 retailers, product manufacturers, and service suppliers, which together account for more than $1.5 trillion in annual sales, millions of American jobs and more than 100,000 stores, manufacturing facilities and distribution centers domestically and abroad.