The Compliance Life details the journey to and in the role of a Chief Compliance Officer. How does one come to sit in the CCO chair? What are some of the skills a CCO needs to success navigate the compliance waters in any company? What are some of the top challenges CCOs have faced and how did they meet them? These questions and many others will be explored in this new podcast series. Over four episodes each month on The Compliance Life, I visit with one current or former CCO to explore their journey to the CCO chair. This month, my guest is Katie Smith who is the Vice President for Ethics at Assurance.  She previously served as Assistant Vice President and Chief Ethics Officer for USAA and Executive Vice President and Chief Compliance and Ethics Officer at Convercent.

Katie is passionate about compliance, having worked in the field for 20 years, building high-performing teams and increasing employee engagement by up to 300%. She has proven expertise in building and promoting talent, creating a trust-based culture, anti-corruption, code of conduct, conflict of interest, marketing internal programs, training and awareness, investigation excellence, data privacy and process efficiency. She is a much sought after public speaker and contributor featured in Wall Street Journal, Time, Fortune, NBC and Compliance Week. Katie’s commitment to the compliance profession is well as she currently sits on the Board of Directors of the Ethics and Compliance Initiative (ECI).

In this first episode, we consider Katie’s journey to the CCO role. She talks about how her Liberal Arts degree, not a JD, facilitated her success in compliance. She details her initial corporate work in HR and moving over to the compliance field and her journey to the CCO chair.