People of Kuma – Katrina Destrée

People of Kuma – Katrina Destrée

Katrina Destrée, a dancer, world traveler, and chocolate lover plays an integral role at KUMA. Learn how she stays up to date on all things privacy and security and enjoys her time outside of work.

Tell us about your role. What’s a typical day like? 

As a Director of Privacy, I work with product managers in operationalizing privacy within organizations, for example assessing how personal data is used in launching new products and services into the market with Privacy Impact Assessments. I also respond to data subject access requests and respond to partner-related inquiries. 

Being on the West Coast now, my day starts later than the rest of the world which is an adjustment for me. Previously I lived in Europe and for 20 years, being a night person worked well to accommodate other time zones and I had no problem with midnight conference calls. Now after coffee and dark chocolate espresso beans, I start my day with ballet barre, planks, and then my news feed. At lunch, I take a walk around sunny Carlsbad (San Diego) and listen to a podcast including the NY Times Daily, the Lawfare podcast, and of course, Dance Edit for all things related to the dance world (my passion aside from traveling). The evenings are a time when my family has dinner outside on our terrace enjoying the wonderful weather in San Diego. We catch up on university studies, soccer news, and topics that keep my teenagers at the table for just a little bit longer. 


What’s been your proudest moment at Kuma? 

One of the highlights I have had since I joined KUMA has been the opportunity to share what services KUMA offers to a large audience during a Smart Cities event sponsored by the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST). Online events have a different energy than in-person conferences and this event was amazing in both its outreach and impact. I was grateful to be part of it and highlight the work KUMA does for both public sector organizations and private sector firms. Since smart cities rely on public-private partnerships and responsible use of the mass amounts of personal data in connected devices, KUMA’s offering is a great fit. Our panel covered key topics such as data minimization, responsible management of data, and data portability.


What do your friends think you do? 

My friends think I do ‘something with international law’ or ‘something with IT’. When my children were younger, their teachers thought I was a baker because I made decorative cakes for their birthday parties and invited the entire class to our home. It became known that our home was always full of baked goods. 


If you could do another job for just one day, what would it be and why? 

I have many classmates who have amazing stories about working for the UN including in the field. For a day or maybe even longer, I’d love to be so close to a humanitarian mission and contribute towards making such a difference. One of my early career assignments was to work on infrastructure development in an emerging economy. For two years, I lived under challenging circumstances and did without a lot of basics. It was an incredible life experience and tested my resilience and more importantly, brought forward my deep desire to work with meaning and impact on a greater scale. 


Who inspires you?

A person who invests in making a difference to humanity in a selfless and critical way. In addition to, of course, emergency responders. I admire people who have established foundations for literacy, scholarships in academia, research in groundbreaking areas, and of course, meals for those in need, paved the way for dance and sports to be possible for many. The list grows each week when I read the last page of the Economist (my favorite journal for decades) which describes an influential person who has passed. The common denominator is a person whose talent made an impact on humanity. KUMA’s Foundation is impressive and one of the reasons I’m proud to be with KUMA.


What’s your favorite local business? 

My pet food shop because it is so touching when complete strangers take a real interest in what your pet would like or what they need. 


What advice do you have for someone interested in joining the privacy and security sector?

Ask yourself if you like to read about it and why and you’ll find your niche. Listen to podcasts that cover a wide range of privacy and security and review the corresponding sites. The IAPP is a fabulous website and for anyone interested in privacy and security, I’d advise spending time going through the vast amount of free resources available on the IAPP website. 


What are three “fun facts” about you?

International travel without planning – One day, while living in a country lacking telecom infrastructure, I went to the airport with a backpack, asked where there would be flights that day, and took the first flight to a nearby country that I had never been to before for a 2-day trip.

Chocolate – love tastings around the world, the Lindt chocolate history museum, and exploring health benefits from chocolate.

Natural disasters – I’ve been through 2 major events without access to news: Tsunami (on boat in India the day before Tsunami hit in 2004 and 9/11, on a remote island in France during the events.)