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Latanya Sweeney '77

Latanya Sweeney ‘77 is the Chief Technology Officer of the Federal Trade Commission, Harvard faculty member, and a world renowned computer scientist. Sweeney was the first African American woman at MIT to receive her PhD in Computer Science.
Latanya Sweeney ‘77 is the Chief Technology Officer of the Federal Trade Commission, Harvard faculty member, and a world renowned computer scientist. Sweeney began her undergraduate degree in Electrical Engineering and Computer Science at MIT, and completed her undergraduate education at Harvard where she received an ALB in Computer Science. She also received a SM in Electrical Engineering and a PhD in Computer Science from MIT. Sweeney was the first African American woman at MIT to receive her PhD in Computer Science.

At only 20 years old, Sweeney founded and became CEO of CESS Computing, which provided customized software services to a diverse array of clients.

Sweeney’s research often focuses on data privacy issues. In 2012, Sweeney founded the Data Privacy Lab at Harvard University. Shortly after in 2012, Sweeney became the Professor of Government and Technology in Residence at Harvard. Sweeney has almost 100 academic publications, three patents, citations in two government regulations, and has author three books (including forthcoming): Who Controls Your Data?, Connecting Your Dots: What they know from what you leave behind, and the Computer Guide. Her research has been featured in Consumer Reports, Newsweek, Newsday, Business Week, The Wall Street Journal and 20/20.

Sweeney has received many honors including the 2001 American Psychiatric Association's Privacy Advocate Award. In 2010, she was honored with Dana Hall's Distinguished Alumna Award.

As of 2014, Sweeney is on leave at Harvard and accepted the government appointed position of Chief Technology Officer at the Federal Trade Commission.

Follow her on Twitter at @LatanyaSweeney.
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  • Steph Quote

    "I love playing basketball at Dana. Our team is really like a family, and we’ve grown so much over the three years I’ve been on the team. My freshman year I never would have thought that we would be able to win the EIL league, but this past winter we did! What makes the team so great is how we look out for each other on and off the court. My teammates are my biggest supporters and it’s always great when we get to welcome new members onto the team. I can’t wait to be captain next year."
    -Stephanie '18