How Autodesk’s legal team protects innovation in the digital age

4 min read

In any large organization, the legal team is critical for ensuring compliance with laws and regulations, mitigating legal risks, and protecting the company’s reputation. At Autodesk, our legal function comprises seven different teams who use their expertise in law and public policy to advance the interests of Autodesk and promote a culture of ethical conduct and legal compliance.

This includes advocating for laws and policies that support innovation in our industries and helping navigate the evolving external environment; partnering closely with colleagues to achieve business objectives with practical, risk-informed advice; promoting trust in Autodesk and ethical conduct through policies, guidelines, and compliance and education programs; and protecting the assets and interests of the company through legal actions, programs, and policies.

Let’s take a closer look at two of our talented legal teams:

Data Protection, Use & Ethics

The Data Protection, Use & Ethics team is responsible for data protection governance, strategy, and policy, as well as ensuring Autodesk meets compliance obligations and commitments to customers. They advise on privacy, security, data use, and artificial intelligence/machine learning (AI/ML) issues to enable compliant and trustworthy data collection and management practices. They also support the Trust program, security incident response, and public policy and communications related to data and trust.

Alexandra Ross is Senior Director, Senior Data Protection, Use & Ethics Counsel. Based in San Francisco, California, she leads the Data Legal team and provides legal, strategic, and governance support for Autodesk’s global privacy, security, data use, and ethics programs.

“As a member of the Trust Council, I’m committed to driving data protection compliance and meeting customer expectations for a trusted platform and engineering excellence,” Alexandra says. “I work closely with the Enterprise Risk Management team on risk identification and mitigation for data-related topics and sit on the Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) Steering Committee.”

Alexandra Ross

Alexandra is also an Advisor to BreachRx, an incident reporting and response platform, and an Innovators Evangelist for The Rise of Privacy Tech (TROPT). She is a certified information privacy professional and a frequent speaker at privacy and security conferences. Alexandra is heading into her eighth year as an Autodesk employee and is looking forward to her second sabbatical. “My favorite part of working at Autodesk is the highly intelligent, motivated, and collegial people on the legal team and the business teams we support,” she says.

Government Affairs & Public Policy

The Government Affairs & Public Policy team identifies and manages opportunities and risks related to emerging public policies; develops and articulates company positions; manages advocacy and representation before governments; creates and maintains relationships with policymakers; and ensures compliance with lobbying rules. They partner cross-functionally to inform policy positions and ensure advocacy is aligned with Autodesk’s vision and values.

Clémence Arto is the Director of Government Affairs and Public Policy in Europe and lives in Paris, France. “A big part of my job is monitoring the public policies in the countries we operate to understand how they may impact our activities and ecosystem.” She also works with governments to explain how Autodesk solutions can help reach the public policy objectives they determine and support policies that enable our customers to innovate.

Clémence Arto

“For example, the European Union is currently implementing a package of laws and regulations to reduce the carbon footprint of its economy, called the Green Deal. With the building sector being one of the biggest contributors to carbon emissions, Autodesk develops solutions to help construction professionals better apprehend and optimize the design of buildings to lower this impact.”

Driving legal excellence in tech

The Legal team at Autodesk provides a smart and caring environment where one can learn and thrive.

“We have a close partnership with our business colleagues and a seat at the table to discuss strategic vision as well as legal compliance and risk,” Alexandra says. “We also have the opportunity to work on complex, challenging, and cutting-edge projects like artificial intelligence and machine learning.”

Being part of a global company provides opportunities to be involved with large-scale and impactful projects. For example, Autodesk is helping restore the Notre-Dame Cathedral in Paris, using our technology to create a smart 3D model of the medieval monument. “I was lucky to be among the few people who were able to visit the construction site,” Clémence says. “I am proud to be on the team leading this important project and to share our expertise with the professionals in charge of restoring this masterpiece.”

“My work, and the work of other data protection and governance stakeholders at Autodesk, allows us to evolve and improve our practices to earn and maintain customer trust,” Alexandra says. “This drives compliance as well as innovation and data-driven solutions for customers. I’m proud of Autodesk’s partnerships with customers across industries to advance a more sustainable, resilient, and equitable world.”

Interested in a legal career at Autodesk? View our current openings here.

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Legal Inside Autodesk