Bloomberg Law
July 8, 2019, 9:34 PM

New ‘Privacy Shield’ Director Onboard at Commerce Department

Sara Merken
Sara Merken

A former State Department adviser is now overseeing the Privacy Shield program that allows U.S. companies to transfer data out of the European Union and Switzerland.

Alex Greenstein will administer the EU-U.S. and Swiss-U.S. Privacy Shield frameworks, according to a Commerce Department official. The department’s International Trade Administration manages the U.S end of the program.

The voluntary data transfer programs allow U.S. companies to self-certify that they comply with data protection obligations when moving personal data from the EU and Switzerland to the U.S. The Privacy Shield program underpins billions of dollars in transatlantic commerce.

Greenstein is a former senior adviser for international communications and information policy at the State Department, where he was responsible for global data privacy issues, digital trade, and data flows, the Commerce official said. He also served in positions at the White House’s National Economic Council and the National Security Council.

To contact the reporter on this story: Sara Merken in Washington at

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Keith Perine at