National Advisory Board, Center for Cybersecurity and Privacy Protection


Ashley Berry

Ashley Berry is a teacher at heart.

She has worked in roles to lead adolescents and adult students to deeper development.  In her career at Nationwide Insurance she drove the creation of engaging Legal Discovery and Privacy content for the enterprise.  She contends “how can you comply with the requirement if you don’t understand it”.

As coordinator for volunteers and leaders, she organized training and communication for over 10 years.  During that time, she had the privilege of teaching life development and spiritual concepts to middle and high school students.

She currently uses her love of relationships and communication to recognize risks through oversight of the USAA Bank business.  

Ashley enjoys reading, thrifting, listening to podcasts, and connecting with family and friends.  She lives in Columbus, Ohio with her husband Garey Berry II and her daughter Brooklyn.


Terence Check is an Attorney-Advisor in the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Office of the General Counsel. Mr. Check advises and provides legal support to several Department offices on a wide range of national security issues. In particular, he provides operational legal support to the leadership of the DHS Management Directorate, the Office of Policy, and the Office of Biometric Identity Management.

Prior to joining DHS, Check worked in several government and private positions, including as a consultant in the DHS Office of Infrastructure Protection, where he advised senior staff and leadership of the Department of Homeland Security on strategy and policy issues relating to the reorganization of the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (formerly the National Protection and Programs Directorate). He also worked as a fellow in the Office of the Chairman of the UN Committee against Torture, where he assisted the Chairman and his staff with preparations for the Committee’s 53rd Session in Geneva, Switzerland.

Check has a bachelor’s degree from Cleveland State University where he was a University Scholar in History. He graduated magna cum laude from Cleveland State University College of Law with his J.D. and from the American University, Washington College of Law with his LL.M in Law & Government, with a specialization in national security law. He also served as an intern in the Chambers of the Hon. James S. Gwin of the United States District Court for the Northern District of Ohio. He has published several works of legal scholarship in the areas of cybersecurity and constitutional law and was the Editor-in-Chief of the Cleveland State Law Review from 2013-2014. He lives in Virginia with his wife and remains an ardent fan of the Cleveland Indians and the Cleveland Browns.

Joseph A. Dickinson

Joseph A. Dickinson is with the firm Michael Best.  Mr. Dickinson is a seasoned data use, privacy, and cybersecurity lawyer with more than 30 years of business and legal experience advising technology and healthcare companies and government entities nationally and internationally. In addition to privacy and cybersecurity, he has broad experience in the areas of data breach litigation, intellectual property litigation, and technology licensing. Mr. Dickinson works closely with each client to build tailored programs and policies appropriate for the business, industry, and stage of development. He also assists with IoT risks, cloud services, and big data analytics. His practice includes evaluating the software development process, privacy by design, counseling clients on responding to software audit requests and advising on the risks associated with the use of the Internet across international jurisdictions.

Prior to joining Michael Best, Joe led the Data Use, Privacy, and Security practice of a major Research Triangle business law firm. Before transitioning back to private practice, he spent multiple years in-house as Chief Privacy and Chief Information Security Officer for a large Midwest academic medical system. He also managed the legal issues associated with global data sharing for a Big 4 accounting/consulting firm. With a background that spans both business and law, Mr. Dickinson has a firsthand understanding of the challenges his clients face and he is able to quickly create and operationalize data privacy and security programs for real world applications. Mr. Dickinson is Certified in Healthcare Privacy Compliance (CHPC®), and is a recognized thought leader on data privacy and cybersecurity having presented at some of the nation’s most prestigious technology and healthcare conferences. He is also an active member of several key technology, legal, and healthcare-based industry associations.

Holly Drake

Holly Drake is Chief Privacy Officer at The Ohio State University Office of Compliance and Integrity. In that role, she is developing and implementing a privacy compliance program that addresses collection, use, and sharing of personal information across Ohio State.  She works in deep collaboration with faculty, staff, and students across the University to implement a simplified, unified approach to privacy compliance and establish privacy best practices. 

Holly spent 18 years working as a privacy professional in the financial and insurance services industry.  She has successfully created privacy compliance programs using a pragmatic approach that balances privacy laws, the ethical use of personal information and the need of institutions to use personal information.

Holly graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in Russian Languages and Literatures from The Ohio State University and obtained her Masters of Social Work from Case Western Reserve University. She is also a Certified Information Privacy Professional (CIPP), Certified Information Privacy Technologist (CIPT), Certified Information Systems Security Professional (CISSP), and a Certified Information Systems Auditor (CISA).

Robert Eckman

Robert Eckman is the Chief Information Security Officer at Kent State University where he provides leadership for the creation and implementation of information security strategies and the security of the university’s digital assets. He is also responsible for informing the university community about regulations around data protection (e.g., FERPA, HIPAA, GDPR). 

Prior to joining KSU, Bob served as CISO at MCPc, a national technology firm, and worked for the Nuclear Regulatory Commission where he led efforts to write the national cyber protocol. He is also an adjunct professor for Kent State University’s School of Digital Science where, in 2016, he was awarded the Outstanding Teaching Award and was recognized by the Ohio State Senate for his achievements in the classroom.

Kirk M. Herath

Kirk Herath is a Principal with Pillars Consulting Group. He recently retired as Vice-President, Associate General Counsel and Chief Privacy Officer for Nationwide Insurance Companies and affiliates based in Columbus, Ohio.

For over two decades, Herath was responsible for all legal issues at a Fortune 100 financial services company impacting data, privacy, information security, technology and information systems, contracts and supply services management, third-party risk, confidentiality and data integrity. He was responsible for corporate privacy policy, data and security incident management and implementing privacy across all lines of business. Kirk has represented clients on many industry privacy and Cybersecurity policy groups and before legislative and regulatory bodies.

Under Herath's leadership, Nationwide was selected as one of the Top 10 Most Trusted Companies for Privacy (number one in the insurance sector) six times by the prestigious Ponemon Institute.

Currently, Herath is Chairman of CyberOhio, Ohio’s Cybersecurity Advisory Board, and a member of the InnovateOhio Advisory Board under the direction of Lt. Governor Jon Husted and Governor Mike DeWine. He is Past President and past board member of the International Association of Privacy Professionals and is still active within the association. He also served on the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s Data Privacy and Integrity Advisory Committee from 2005 to 2011. He speaks regularly on a broad array of privacy, security and technology issues.

Herath edited the privacy practitioners’ bible, “How to Build a Privacy Program”, published by the IAPP Press.

In addition, Herath has over 30 years experience in public policy, legislative and regulatory affairs, and land use and development. Herath was a federal and state legislative representative and public policy director for Nationwide for over 12 years, and he has almost 30 years experience in local policy making as a City Councilman, Planning and Zoning Commissioner and, currently, as President of a very active community investment corporation.

He received undergraduate degrees in political science and history from the University of Cincinnati and has a master’s degree in international affairs from the American University in Washington, D.C. He holds a law degree from Capital University Law School in Columbus, Ohio, and is admitted to the Ohio Bar. Herath is also a Certified Information Privacy Professional and a Certified Information Privacy Professional/Government.

Ariel Fox Johnson

 Ariel Fox Johnson is senior counsel for policy and privacy at Common Sense Media, where she advocates for smart practices, policies, and rules to help all kids thrive in today's wired world. Her work focuses on enhancing family privacy rights, strengthening students' educational privacy, and promoting robust consumer protections in the online world. She frequently advises policymakers, industry, and tech experts and has helped develop laws on student privacy, consumer privacy, and the Internet of Things. Ariel is a graduate of Harvard College and Law School. Prior to joining Common Sense, Ariel clerked for the Hon. Peter J. Messitte (D. Md.), and worked on privacy, media, intellectual property, and technology matters at corporate law firms. 


Marcus Noel

Timothy M. opsitnick

Timothy M. Opsitnick is Executive Vice President and General Counsel of Technology Concepts & Design, Inc. (“TCDI”).  Opsitnick is at the forefront of practitioners addressing issues involved in the security and discovery of electronically stored information.  He has conducted numerous continuing legal education seminars regarding electronic discovery, cybersecurity, and other technology issues.  In addition, he has served as a court-appointed Special Master and as an expert witness.  His clients include United States and international law firms and companies.

TCDI consults with corporations and law firms to provide litigation management software, electronic discovery, computer forensics, and cybersecurity services. TCDI is a recognized leader in technology for mass tort management, complex litigation and MDL litigation management.  Opsitnick founded JURINNOV Ltd. (“JURINNOV”) in 2000.  JURINNOV was acquired by TCDI in 2016, expanding their services to include data privacy, cybersecurity, and computer forensics.

Kirk Nahra

Kirk Nahra is a partner with WilmerHale in Washington, D.C., where he specializes in privacy and information security litigation and counseling, along with a variety of health care and compliance issues. He is co-chair of the firm’s Cybersecurity and Privacy Practice and Co-Chair of the Big Data Practice.  He assists companies in a wide range of industries in analyzing and implementing the requirements of privacy and security laws across the country and internationally.  He provides advice on data breaches, enforcement actions, contract negotiations, business strategy, research and de-identification issues and privacy, data security and cybersecurity compliance.  He advises companies in virtually all industries, ranging from Fortune 500 companies to start-ups.  He teaches privacy and data security issues at several law schools, including serving as an adjunct professor at the Washington College of Law at American University and at Case Western Reserve University. In addition, he currently serves as a fellow with the Cordell Institute for Policy in Medicine & Law at Washington University in St. Louis and as a fellow with the Institute for Critical Infrastructure Technology.  Mr. Nahra received his law degree from Harvard Law School and his undergraduate degree from Georgetown University.

Ray Thomas, Jr.

Ray Thomas, Jr. is a sole practitioner.  His areas of expertise include data privacy and trademarks. 

Ray held various roles at IBM Corporation.  As IBM Chief Procurement Privacy Officer, he founded and led the 33-member Global Procurement Data Privacy Group and owned all aspects of data privacy in the context of vendor management.  Most recently, he served as Head of Legal Academia for IBM Global University Programs (GUP) to plan, design, build and manage a special GUP for Legal Academia.  In that role, he partnered with law schools globally to help produce tech-savvy lawyers who would possess the competence and confidence to effectively represent their clients in connection with the various emerging technologies. 

As Adjunct Assistant Professor & Supervising Attorney, Ray founded the Trademark Clinic at Howard University School of Law which continues to operate under the Law School Clinical Certification Program of the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO).  He started his career as an Attorney Advisor (Trademarks) for the USPTO.  On appointment by the United States Secretary of Commerce, he returned to the USPTO as a Special Government Employee to serve as a voting-member of the Trademark Public Advisory Committee. 

Ray attended American University, Washington College of Law to earn his Master of Laws (LL.M.) in Law & Government with certifications in Administrative Law & Regulatory Practice and Intellectual Property Law & Policy.  He earned his Juris Doctorate (J.D.) at Cleveland State University College of Law and his Bachelor of Science (B.S.) in Criminal at the State University of New York, College at Buffalo. 

Ray is licensed to practice law in the District of Columbia, Maryland, and Texas.  He also holds 4 certifications with the International Association of Privacy Professionals.

Spence Witten

Spence Witten has spent the last decade riding the small business roller coaster. After several years in market research and venture capital, he joined Endeavor Systems, an early innovator in malware detection and insider threat response. He played a key role in Endeavor’s rapid expansion in the Federal Civilian, DoD and Research & Development markets.

Following Endeavor’s successful acquisition, Witten joined Lunarline as Director of Federal Sales. An unorthodox leader, at least by the standards of Government Contracting, he brings a unique approach to Government sales, marketing, proposals, and service. As Lunarline’s Director of Federal Sales, his goal is to apply Lunarline’s innovative flair and obsessive technical excellence to the challenges of modern federal contracting.

A Cleveland-area resident, Witten received a Bachelors of Arts in International Relations from Transylvania University in Lexington Kentucky. Yes, it is a real school.

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