MasterCard took another step in securing its cybersecurity-focused plans when it announced the appointment of Alexander N.M. Niejelow as its senior VP of public policy, starting Feb. 8.
Under the appointment, his role will involve driving MasterCard’s policy efforts as it relates to cybersecurity and global data management. He will also lead the company’s industry partnerships as they relate to technology policy issues. Additionally, he will collaborate with the global public policy team about governance and privacy matters.
“Alex’s deep understanding of domestic and international cybersecurity threats will help our efforts in working with partners and governments across the globe,” said Tim Murphy, general counsel of MasterCard.
Since 2013, Niejelow served as director for cybersecurity policy on President Obama’s National Security Council. He was also chief of staff to the U.S. Intellectual Property Enforcement Coordinator, where he helped coordinate the administration’s efforts to develop and enforce intellectual property and patent policies.
Prior to joining the Obama administration, Niejelow was a senior associate at the Pew Charitable Trusts, where he analyzed and provided recommendations on enhancing the security of the global pharmaceutical supply chain. He worked in the litigation department of Paul, Weiss, Rikind, Wharton & Garrison before joining the Department of Homeland Security in 2010 as a senior advisor on international trade policy and operations.
Niejelow holds a doctor of jurisprudence degree from the University of Pennsylvania Law School and a Bachelor of Arts in political science from Duke University.
MasterCard has kept an active involvement in cybersecurity efforts, particularly at a major security summit last year. Dan Berger, president and CEO of the National Association of Federal Credit Unions, specifically shared at an event in February 2015 about MasterCard’s efforts in the space and spoke about the challenges each industry faces as it aims to tackle cybersecurity — specifically toward its encryption efforts.
“The technology in this space is moving so incredibly rapidly to try to stay ahead of the bad guys,” Berger wrote. “Ajay Banga [MasterCard CEO] did an excellent job of describing the combined needs of encryption, authentication and secure payments, all while improving the user’s experience in the most frictionless way possible.”