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Meet Tanneasha Gordon

Principal, Risk & Financial Advisory, Deloitte & Touche LLP

In this Faces of Deloitte’s Technology, Media and Telecommunications industry article, Tanneasha talks about working on a broad spectrum of client issues.

Given all her accomplishments, you might be surprised that Tanneasha Gordon isn’t a superhero. That said, she does confess she may have a superpower - picking up signals in the marketplace. This ability to “see around corners” she says, has positioned her to get smart on things before the market picks up on them. Based in San Francisco, she’s a Principal in Deloitte’s Cyber and Strategic Risk Practice and leads Data and Privacy Solutions, with a focus on the Tech and Media sectors.

Tanneasha’s journey from her New York origins to the Bay Area traces how this superpower (which in reality is a combination of intense determination, intellectual curiosity and a love of novel and emerging spaces), got her where she is today. She describes herself as a strategist at heart and she first fell in love with strategy consulting after graduate school. But while working at another firm during the financial crisis as large banks around the world were failing, she had a moment when she realised that strategy wasn’t the sole factor for success - it also required risk management. At that point, she says, “I tried to learn everything I could about risk management consulting.” Soon thereafter she was able to join Deloitte’s Data & Privacy practice - which she now runs and that has grown to around 300 people. Joining this practice in 2010, she had to learn everything from scratch, but she was able to bring value to everyday client problem sets because she could think strategically about their risk management challenges and approaches.

Once at Deloitte, she was eager to obtain global experience and understand how people were solving data privacy and trust issues abroad. This led to three years in Amsterdam and her timing was fortuitous - she arrived just before the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) came into effect in Europe and she witnessed firsthand how European companies prepared. Serving clients in Financial Services Industry (FSI) and Life Sciences and Healthcare (LSHC), she says she saw the signals regarding the disruptive impact new regulations would have on less regulated industries. “I said, wait a minute - all our FSI clients are ready for this regulation and know how to pivot because they’re used to being regulated.” But, she realised, Technology, Media and Telecommunications (TMT) clients were going to be hit hard because they didn’t have to build a regulatory risk and compliance muscle like clients in FSI and LSHC. Rather than staying in LSHC on her return to the US, she moved sight unseen to San Francisco and joined TMT. “I realised that our tech clients, particularly our media clients, were going to be tremendously disrupted. And I was only able to see that because I’d been living in Europe,” she observes. At that time, no one in the Data & Privacy practice (now called “Data & Digital Trust) even lived in California. She adds, “I could see it was going to get crazy.”

And that hasn’t let up. The issue of privacy, data protection and content compliance regulation are so pervasive that she finds herself working on a broad spectrum of client issues. It could be anything having to do with to platform developer privacy compliance and privacy engineering to trust and safety policy transformation and product safety. This includes a broad spectrum of establishing safeguards that enable digital trust designed to protect user privacy and keep them safe from harmful and abusive content online. She also helps clients ensure that there is always fidelity and integrity in the data lifecycle, from collection to use, to storage, transfer, to deletion and making sure the right governance is in place as data moves between countries. And, of course, there’s the issue of AI - how is it integrated into products in a way that doesn’t bolster misinformation, discrimination or bias, what she refers to as “trust by design”?

It’s no surprise that Tanneasha says ultimately her purpose is all about helping people, whether that’s helping family members, friends or community members. She sits on the board of Black Girls in Cyber (BGiC), which trains black women in various professions to break into cyber-related fields and has contributed to the bestseller Securing Our Future: The Resilience and Brilliance of Black Women in Cyber, a call to action for more Black women to see themselves in Cyber. And - guess what? - she’s at work on a sci-fi novel of her own.

Why TMT?

It’s not clear if Tanneasha found TMT or TMT found her. “I’m genuinely curious,” she says and explains that as a long-time lover of hard sci-fi (as opposed to fantasy sci-fi) she has to be open and embrace physics and the sciences, as well as technology. “I’m a strategist at heart,” she observes, “so when you’re reading these sci-fi books or watching those films, you’re looking at science and technology and forecasting what the future could look like when you’re building new worlds.” Although she started in Life Sciences, she focused on Health Tech, which involved helping device manufacturing companies that were building connected devices; at the same time, she was working with tech companies that were starting to build connected health tracking devices and trying to sell them to healthcare companies. So, entering the TMT world made perfect sense.

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