Cynthia J. Cole

Cynthia J. Cole

Class of 2022

Cynthia Cole is a former CEO and general counsel of publicly-traded, multinational companies. She has deep international experience building global teams, having served as general counsel and board secretary to a French multinational. She has lived and worked in France and is bilingual English/French. Cynthia is a strategic executive and innovator called on to lead cross-functional and operational teams in data and digital transformation, privacy and security. She is a recognized thought leader in technology innovation and data privacy. Highly regarded for her ability to anticipate and manage change, she has a proven track record of driving organizational and operational growth.

Currently a partner in the IP and Tech Transactions practice of Baker McKenzie; just prior to joining Baker McKenzie, she served as the Deputy Department Chair (Corporate) for the California offices of Baker Botts LLP. She is sought after for her depth of experience in complex cross-border, IP, and data-driven transactions, negotiating bespoke agreements in novel technology fields. She works with companies across a wide variety of industries including software and SaaS, semiconductor, social media, energy, manufacturing, retail, healthcare and life sciences, and information and communication technology. Outside general counsel to a number of executive teams and boards of directors as well as advising on data, privacy and security issues in M&A and private equity investments, Cynthia understands the issues involved in balancing innovation and regulation. She manages strategy and compliance with the California Consumer Privacy Act of 2018 (CCPA) and the EU’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). She is certified as an Information Privacy Professional (CIPP/E) by the International Association of Privacy Professionals (IAPP).

Previously, Cynthia was CEO and General Counsel of Spectra 7 Microsystems (TSE: SEV), an industry leader in VR/AR and data center applications. As CEO she led an unexpected corporate crisis and change management. During that same period, she grew revenue, key customers, and share value.

Cynthia is a recognized thought leader and an active contributor to the public conversation around privacy and security. Cynthia has authored more than 250 articles, webinars and presentations, and been interviewed by numerous news outlets for her views on the challenges and influences facing global enterprises in technology, data privacy and security.

Cynthia actively serves her community. She is currently as an advisory board member of LeaderXXchange, a purpose-driven organization that advises and promotes diversity and sustainability in governance, leadership & investment by advising global organizations and investors that seek measurable outcomes in diversity and sustainability.

She is also a board member, (former Chair, Governance committee) of the Palo Alto Art Center Foundation and of the Northwestern Alumni Club of the San Francisco Bay Area.

Cynthia has been honored consistently for her contributions to data privacy & security, diversity and leadership, both inside and outside the legal profession, including as a 2020 Woman of Influence by The Silicon Valley Business Journal and a 2019 California Trailblazer.

Cynthia is a graduate of Northwestern Pritzker School of Law and holds an Honors BA in English and French from the University of Utah. She resides in Silicon Valley.