Rita Heimes is data protection officer, research director and general counsel at the International Association of Privacy Professionals (IAPP), a non-profit professional membership association headquartered in Portsmouth, NH. At the IAPP, Rita works with a team of privacy subject matter experts to create original research and content for the IAPP, and also serves as the firm's in-house privacy officer and general counsel. Previously, Rita was a law professor and academic dean at the University of Maine School of Law, where she directed the Center for Law + Innovation and developed the nation's first Privacy Pathways program and one of the first intellectual property clinics. Over her law career, Rita has practiced privacy and intellectual property law with firms in Seattle, Boulder, and Portland (Maine). She received her BA in Journalism from the University of Iowa and her JD from Drake University School of Law.