Christina Hopkins Crichton

Corporate Privacy Advisor, City of Edmonton
BA 2003

After completing her BA at SFU, Christina Hopkins Crichton went to the University of Edinburgh for a Master’s degree in European Politics. Crichton credits her quantitative and qualitative research training at SFU as instrumental in helping her with research planning and completing her MA dissertation.

While at SFU, she gained valuable work experience by participating in the co-op program. A BC Ministry of Education co-op position gave her valuable experience that helped her land her first job after graduation. Crichton credits her first post-BA job to her SFU co-op position, as she learned how to communicate with potential employers about how her degree-based knowledge translated into valuable workplace skills.

When she completed her Master's, Crichton started operational policy work at the Alberta Treasury Branches (ATB). She made good use of her training in research and data analysis, as she had to examine financial policies and legislation for opportunities to improve. Crichton’s work centered on preventing terrorist organizations from hiding funds and detecting money laundering, gaining an interest in the balance between privacy and regulatory need for information.

After going back to school to earn an information access and privacy certificate, Crichton returned to the privacy world through a position with Service Alberta. Now, she is the corporate privacy advisor for the City of Edmonton, responsible for leading investigations into privacy breaches and managing staff who provide advice.

Crichton enjoys the sense of purpose she gets from her work as a corporate privacy advisor.

“I know that what I'm doing is making things safer, making the corporation more accountable, and helping staff understand their obligations better,” she said.

She also finds conducting training sessions rewarding because people leave those sessions with a better understanding of how to comply with privacy regulations and take the necessary measures to protect personal information and make it practical in their world.

Crichton feels most proud of her work as the lead advisor in the Government of Alberta's My Alberta digital ID privacy impact assessment, which was an intensive 18-month project.

She advises current students to practice their writing and proofreading skills. She believes that writing skills can always be improved. Crichton remains very optimistic about the value of studying political science and the discipline’s emphasis on critical thinking skills.

"If anyone is considering going into political science, it has very strong critical thinking and writing components that prepare you for so many different careers."