On July 24, 2017, Sam Kaplan was appointed Chief Privacy Officer for the Department of Homeland Security. As Chief Privacy Officer, Mr. Kaplan is responsible for the operation and coordination of the Department’s program to protect individual privacy, to include ensuring compliance with the Privacy Act of 1974 and the E-Government Act of 2002. Additionally, Mr. Kaplan serves as the Department’s Chief Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) Officer and is responsible for overseeing all of the Department’s FOIA operations. Mr. Kaplan most recently served as the Senior Counsel for Field Operations in the Office of Chief Counsel at the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF), where he provided advice and counsel to the senior executive staff responsible for ATF’s criminal and regulatory operations.
Prior to his tenure as Senior Counsel at ATF, Mr. Kaplan served as Counselor to a member of the Privacy and Civil Liberties Oversight Board (Board). In this capacity, he reviewed the procedures and privacy protections promulgated by the Intelligence Community pursuant to Presidential Policy Directive 28; examined privacy and civil liberties guidance developed for the Information Sharing Environment; and reviewed the privacy impact assessments developed on cybersecurity activities conducted under Executive Order 13636. He was also a member of the oversight team reviewing counterterrorism activities undertaken pursuant to Executive Order 12333, specifically examining the privacy and civil liberties impact of four programs conducted by the National Security Agency and the Central Intelligence Agency.
Before his service at the Board, Mr. Kaplan held a number of positions within the U.S. Department of Justice and ATF, including Chief of the Audit Liaison Branch in ATF’s Office of Professional Responsibility and Security Operations; Counsel to Emergency Support Function #13; and Special Assistant to the Director of ATF. Additionally, Mr. Kaplan was detailed on a long-term assignment to the United States Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Virginia, where he prosecuted gang, violent crime and drug cases in the Major Crimes and Narcotics Unit.
Mr. Kaplan received his Juris Doctor, Master of Arts in international studies and graduate certificate in homeland security from the University of Denver. He received his Bachelor of Arts degree in economics and history from the Metropolitan State College of Denver.