Ana Laura Absi
| Fresenius Medical Care
Regional privacy lead Latin America
Having joined Fresenius Medical Care as its regional lead privacy for Latin America, Ana Laura Absi is responsible for implementing the company global privacy programme tailored to the region data protection laws and building a privacy function in Latin America. Fresenius Medical Care is the world’s leading provider of products and services for people with chronic kidney failure. It employs more than 112,000 employees, offers products and treatments in 150 countries and generated approximately €16.55bn global revenue in 2018. Absi is an experienced in-house counsel who later shifted her career focus to privacy. After graduating from law school she started her legal career at Argentine law firm Marval, O’Farrell & Mairal. ‘Those were very challenging years with a rapid learning experience that prepared me for my future in-house roles’, she says. Absi then spent more than seven years at GlobalLogic where she was hired as its first in-house counsel. She became the head of legal after a few years and was trusted to lead the global compliance function and manage a global contract review team providing services for the headquarters and all subsidiaries worldwide. During her seven-year tenure, she successfully transformed a local legal team into a global one, where the company could save costs and improve time of response by having a team providing services at US and European working hours. At the end of her career at GlobalLogic, due to the development of data privacy regulations worldwide particularly in Europe, she took the global privacy counsel role while serving as head of legal at the same time. As global privacy counsel, she implemented GDPR and actively prepared herself in this field by obtaining two professional certificates from International Association of Privacy Professionals (IAPP), the largest and most comprehensive global information privacy community. It was during this process that Absi decided to become a full time privacy professional, which is a ‘risky choice in Latin America, as regional data protection regulations are developing fast but not yet on par with the European privacy standards, and there are few permanent job opportunities in this area’, she explains. Despite the difficulties, she gained the regional lead privacy position for Latin America at Fresenius Medical Care, where she joined in August 2018. At Fresenius Medical Care, Absi introduced the idea of privacy into daily business tasks across functions and jurisdictions. ‘Individuals we interact with – patients, employees, clients, suppliers – have increased their awareness of privacy and protection of personal data’, she comments. In August 2018 she took on the new role of regional lead privacy for Latin America at Fresenius Medical Care. At Fresenius Medical Care, Absi is responsible for revamping the privacy programme in all countries in the Latin America region where Fresenius Medical Care does business. She is a member of the global privacy team and helps shape and further define the global privacy programme, and at the same time, enhance the governance structure and assists in the implementation at local level of the global privacy programme.