The Global Privacy Assembly (GPA)’ Giovanni Buttarelli Award is in memory of the former European Data Protection Supervisor, GPA Annual Conference Host 2018 and past GPA Executive Committee member.

This Award strongly aligns with the GPA’s vision to provide leadership at international level and to encourage cooperation across borders, recognising:

  • The importance of both strong, ambitious leadership and cooperation at a time of rapid change and evolution for data protection and privacy authorities;
  • Giovanni Buttarelli’s contribution as an outstanding leader in the global data protection community;
  • Giovanni Buttarelli’s vision for more joined-up work both nationally and across borders and across different fields, also recognising that data protection and privacy rules are not ends in themselves but rather means for safeguarding and promoting human dignity and social justice, locally and globally; and
  • The importance of encouraging jurisdictions to consider new cooperation initiatives.

Giovanni Buttarelli Award 2022 winner

The second Giovanni Buttarelli Award has been presented to Elizabeth Denham, as Chair of the GPA, she led the modernisation of the GPA from a once a year conference, to a year-round forum where international DPAs collaborate and react in a timely way to emerging policy challenges on data protection and privacy.

Watch the Award acceptance video below.


Further details about the Giovanni Buttarelli Award

Who is eligible?

Each year, this award recognises an individual who:

  1. Has demonstrated exceptional leadership and/or has promoted collaboration at a regional or international level in the field of data protection and privacy.
  2. Has helped move towards Giovanni Buttarelli’s vision for a fairer digital future for everyone.
  3. Has demonstrated these characteristics either throughout a certain period of time, such as when leading a particular project, or throughout an individual’s career.
  4. Has demonstrated these credentials, for example, through:
    • The fostering of new or innovative types of international or regional partnerships or the promotion of new collaboration methods amongst regulators, organisations and fields, such as partnerships between data protection authorities.
    • Leading on a project that has led to the development of innovative concepts or practices, which have significantly impacted the thinking in the international data protection and privacy community.

What is the application/nomination process?

The GPA Executive Committee intend this to be an annual award. Eligible candidates must be nominated after the awards are formally launched each year.

Individuals must be nominated by at least one individual they have closely worked with belonging to an organisation in the field of data protection or privacy.

Details of the nominated individual’s contribution should be outlined on the application form. This form will be made available on the GPA website to download and complete by the given deadline.

We strongly encourage the nominators to liaise with their nominated individual and to seek their prior consent before going forward with the nomination process. After nominated candidates have been shortlisted, the Secretariat will contact them to ensure they wish to proceed with the process.

To ensure that Giovanni Buttarelli’s legacy is maintained, the GPA Executive Committee and Secretariat would rely on the organisations to ensure that they nominate individuals of high standing in the international community and who have made a high calibre contribution in the international sphere. The GPA Executive Committee and Secretariat would not generally undertake further enquiries as to the nominated individuals’ background, unless there were substantial grounds for doing so.

Is this award only open to individuals working for GPA members?

No. Any individual that fulfils the eligibility criteria can be nominated for the award. This could be, for instance,

  • An individual who has worked for, or is currently working for a GPA member or observer;
  • An individual who has worked for, or is currently working for, an organisation or entity in the field of data protection or privacy.

If I have only one nominator, does that mean I have a smaller chance of winning the award?

No, all nominated candidates will be treated equally notwithstanding how many people nominate them. Adding a second nominee is entirely optional. For instance, it could be particularly helpful where an individual completed most of the collaboration work relating to the nomination with another organisation or authority which can support the candidacy for this Award.

What is the deadline for nominations?

The deadline is end of the day, Friday, 9 June 2023.

Dates may be subject to change. Any changes will be duly announced to all members.

Where can I find the entry form?

The form is available for download here.

How will the award winner be selected?

The winner will be selected by the GPA Executive Committee and the European Data Protection Supervisor (EDPS) according to the criteria set out in the section ‘Who is eligible?’ above.

The Executive Committee will act in their role as elected representatives from the various global regions of the GPA membership.

The EDPS will act in light of its role as the former, final employer of Giovanni Buttarelli, closely familiar with his work, mission and vision in data protection and privacy and in accordance with the wishes of the Buttarelli family.

The Secretariat will inform the winner and their nominators by end September. Dates may be subject to change. Any changes will be duly announced.

When will the Award winner be announced?

The Award winner will be announced publicly at the 45th GPA Annual Meeting taking place between 15-20 October 2023. Further information will be provided in due course.

The Secretariat will contact the winner in advance to inform them they have won and to provide further details about next steps.

What safeguards are there in the assessment process?

In line with the common practice for all the other GPA Awards, Executive Committee members and the EDPS will be able to submit candidates, but they will be prohibited from voting for their own nominees.

What do I do if I have any more questions?

Please contact the Secretariat at