Finance and Operations; OUR Clemson

Theodora ‘Theo’ Wills, CIPM, CIPP/G/US, FIP, named University’s first Chief Privacy Officer


Following a nationwide executive search, Theo Wills was named Clemson University’s first-ever Chief Privacy Officer.

The Chief Privacy Officer (CPO) is an integral part of the compliance and ethics leadership team, helping to ensure the University upholds ethical and lawful conduct in its academic and business activities. Wills will report to Chief Ethics and Compliance Officer Tracy Arwood, providing leadership and oversight for the enterprise-wide privacy program and serving as a thought leader on all privacy-related issues. She is responsible for the development and implementation of a comprehensive privacy strategy that adequately protects information assets, meets compliance requirements and reduces overall risk. 

In her position, Wills will work closely with the Chief Information Security Officer (CISO), the Chief Information Officer (CIO) and functional stakeholders to ensure alignment between security, operational and privacy practices. 

In her new position, Wills is responsible for the following:

  • Establishing privacy policies, notices, standards and processes with stakeholders across the institution.
  • Ensuring the University complies with applicable state, federal and international laws, campus policies and procedures and industry privacy standards, including HIPAA, FERPA, GDPR, the SC Family Privacy Protection Act and other laws and standards.
  • Developing and managing privacy training, education and awareness for students, faculty and staff.
  • Advising and counseling University constituents on best practices, new technologies, privacy complaints and potential institution-wide risks.

Wills will leverage her more than ten years of experience in senior executive-level privacy leadership positions, her latest position being senior director of privacy for Kuma, LLC in Jacksonville, FL. Over the course of her decade in leadership roles, Wills established and provided oversight to the Department of Defense and state of South Carolina enterprise privacy programs.  She holds three internationally recognized privacy certifications and has earned the designation of Fellow in Privacy from the International Association of Privacy Professionals in recognition of her leadership in the privacy field.

Wills started her position at Clemson on November 28, 2022.