Director for Digital Society, Trust and Cybersecurity
European Commission (Invited)
Despina Spanou is the Director for Digital Society, Trust and Cybersecurity at the Directorate-General Communications Network, Content and Technology. In this capacity she is responsible for cybersecurity policy and law, digital privacy, connected cities and mobility, digital health and e-government as well as electronic identification. She was previously Director for Consumer Affairs at the Directorate-General for Justice and Consumers (2013-2017) in charge of consumer policy, consumer and marketing law, redress and enforcement, and product safety. In that role she oversaw the recent overhaul of consumer law and enforcement as well as the integration of consumer policy in the digital single market strategy. She has served as Principal Adviser in the Directorate-General for Health and Consumers where she was responsible for communication and also led the work on strategies on managing chronic diseases including the EU's contribution to the UN General Assembly on Health. She was the Deputy Head of Cabinet for the European Commissioner for Health and Consumers Mr. Kyprianou (2004-2008) and for the Commissioner for Health, and later Education & Culture, Mrs. Vassiliou (2008-2010). Despina Spanou started her career at the European Commission at the Directorate General for Competition in 2003. She had previously practised European law with the Brussels branch of a US law firm. She is of Cypriot origin, a member of the Athens Bar Association and holds a Ph.D. in European law from the University of Cambridge.