ONC appoints Kathryn Marchesini as chief privacy officer

After a three-month delay, ONC has appointed Kathryn Marchesini as its chief privacy officer. (Sarah Stierch/CC BY 4.0)

Longtime policy adviser Kathryn Marchesini has been named chief privacy officer at the Office of the National Coordinator for Health IT, according to an email obtained by FierceHealthcare.

Marchesini has worked in various privacy roles at HHS, including most recently as a senior health information technology and privacy adviser at the Office for Civil Rights. She also spent two years as the division director for privacy at ONC and served a short stint as the acting chief privacy officer in 2014 prior to the appointment of Lucia Savage.

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The appointment was announced in an email sent to ONC staff members by National Coordinator Donald Rucker, M.D. He highlighted Marchesini’s “wealth of expertise” on the privacy and security implications in electronic health technology and research and her previous work with ONC developing policy, guidelines and education initiatives.

“Most recently she 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,” Rucker wrote to staff members.

Former ONC chief privacy officer and deputy director of health information policy Deven McGraw called the appointment “an excellent choice," pointing to Marchesini's past experience working with both ONC and OCR.

“She knows privacy and security so well,” she told FierceHealthcare. “And she is really good about trying to understand what the private sector is dealing with.”