Kirk Herath was recently appointed as the State of Ohio's first Cybersecurity Strategic Advisor by Governor Mike DeWine. Prior to his appointment, he was 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.
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.