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Rachel Nyswander Thomas

Rachel Thomas

Rachel Nyswander Thomas is Executive Director of the Data-Driven Marketing Institute (DDMI) and Vice President of Government Affairs for the Direct Marketing Association (DMA).

Thomas lead DDMI in conducting independent, academic research regarding how the responsible use of consumer data shapes industry and society.  She directs DDMI efforts to engage policymakers, consumers and the media in conversations about the responsible use of data, ensuring that DDMI research informs data policy debates in Washington and beyond.

As Vice President of Government Affairs, Thomas represents the data-driven marketing community’s policymaking interests on Capitol Hill, before key federal agencies and in multi-stakeholder policy forums.  She leads industry-wide policy coalitions on issues of consumer data use, including children’s privacy, mobile and geolocation technology, social media, behavioral targeting, data security and cybersecurity.  She serves as consultant to DMA members regarding policy engagement and regulatory compliance.  Thomas also manages strategic communications to members, policymakers, press and other key stakeholders.

Thomas came to DMA from The McGraw-Hill Companies, where she served most recently as manager for privacy and government affairs. In that role, she advocated the corporation’s agenda before federal policymakers on issues relating to privacy, data security, behavioral advertising, environmental and “do not promote” legislation. She also held chief responsibility for business compliance with the corporation’s customer privacy policy, auditing worldwide operations and providing regulatory compliance consultation to a global corps of privacy officials.

Thomas holds a BA degree in Humanities from Yale University and a Masters of Policy Management degree from Georgetown University. She holds her Certified International Privacy Professional (CIPP) certification from the International Association of Privacy Professionals.