Goodbye May, hello April.

The first thing you need to know about Compliance Week’s National Conference in Washington, D.C. this year is that it takes place a month earlier: April 2-4. Don’t fret if that’s news to you—there’s still time to reserve your space.

Those of you familiar with our event, now in its 19th year, know what you’re going to get: industry-leading speakers from across the globe, engaging sessions and networking breaks, and insightful best practices to take back to your organization. Still, there’s plenty new that should excite even our most veteran attendees.

Here are 10 things I’m looking forward to about this year’s event:

1. New venue

With the move up to a new month comes a new event venue—one primed to take advantage of cherry blossom season in the city.

This year’s conference will take place at The Westin Washington in downtown D.C., a short walk away from the White House, Smithsonian, and many other national landmarks. The hotel recently completed an $80 million renovation that will help enhance the experience of attendees as we move on from two years at the JW Marriott.

2. A must-attend women’s brunch (for all genders)

One of the highlights of our annual event since we returned in person has been the Day 1 women’s brunch to kick off the conference. The session brings together a panel of female leaders in the compliance space to share their experiences on a specific topic related to professional development.

This year’s session is one all compliance practitioners should be interested in, regardless of gender: the path from chief compliance officer to the board. Our “Inside the Mind of the CCO” survey told us CCOs aspire to this role more than any other position change, so we brought together a group of speakers who have made this transition to share their experiences.

Once again, all genders are welcome to take part in the brunch and learn from the accomplishments of our extraordinary panel.

(And if you want to hear more takeaways from Compliance Week’s CCO survey, stick around for my session on Day 3! I’ll be going over results with three distinguished CW Advisory Board members: Forrest Deegan of Victoria’s Secret, Lamond Kearse of the Metropolitan Transportation Authority, and Dianna Jones of Uber Technologies).

3. A returning favorite among workshops

Check out the full agenda

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Back for its 19th year, Compliance Week’s National Conference brings compliance, ethics, risk, legal, and audit professionals together face-to-face to benchmark best practices and gain the latest tactics and strategies to enhance their compliance programs.


Last year’s opening keynote featuring neuroscientists Dr. Sahar Yousef and Lucas Miller was a favorite for many seeking ways to improve productivity and performance. Consider that presentation a mere trailer for what Yousef and Miller have in store this year.

Instead of a one-hour keynote, Yousef and Miller will be leading a three-hour workshop, during which they’ll engage directly with attendees on scientific-based leadership effectiveness training and principles around communication, psychological safety, mentorship, and more. This kind of session has proven most popular among CCOs and other senior executives looking to expand their personal skill set as a leader.

Seats in the neuroscience workshop will be limited, so be sure to pre-register. If you don’t attend, we have three other excellent offerings occurring at the same time, including an inspirational workshop for the aspirational compliance officer, a deep dive on responsible development and implementation of generative artificial intelligence, and a session on leveraging COSO’s new Internal Controls over Sustainability Reporting guidance.

4. Fraud detection in focus

Our opening keynote this year is sure to excite the Sherlock Holmes in all of us, as one of the nation’s premier deception detection experts shares her secrets to separating lies from the truth.

Traci Brown, author of books “Persuasion Point” and “How to Detect Lies, Fraud, and Identity Theft,” will lead an interactive session in which she’ll cover her proven nine-point fraud spotting system, offer body language tips, and more.

At a time when fraud risks are heightened by new technologies like artificial intelligence, compliance officers can use all the help they can get. There are few experts in the detection space better to learn from than Brown.

5. Speaking of AI…

It’s not all doom and gloom regarding the technology. There’s a lot for compliance officers to get excited about as AI continues to advance and offer more opportunities for increasing efficiency.

With this in mind, our Day 2 opening keynote will be broken into two parts: the first examining what AI means for organizations and the second continuing the conversation around implications for compliance and enterprise risk. Both sessions will feature the expertise of Diana Kelley, an AI expert with previous cybersecurity experience at Microsoft and IBM.

As much promise as AI offers to compliance departments constantly seeking resource support, teams have been slow to adopt the technology. Increasing our understanding of AI is the best way to overcome the risks and harness its potential.

6. Don’t forget data analytics

AI gets all the attention these days, but we already know data analytics is another technology area compliance teams are working to improve in amid heightened regulatory scrutiny.

In my opinion, nobody has a better data analytics story to share right now than Andrew McBride, the former chief risk and compliance officer at Albemarle. In September, the chemical company agreed to pay $218 million in settlements with the Department of Justice (DOJ) and Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) for alleged violations of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA) across Vietnam, Indonesia, India, China, and the United Arab Emirates.

After Albemarle earned the highest penalty reduction—45 percent—recorded under the DOJ’s revised corporate enforcement policy, Acting Assistant Attorney General Nicole Argentieri described the case as “an example for companies considering how to achieve the best result under our policies.”

The company’s data analytics program was a big driver behind the praise it earned from both the DOJ and SEC. To hear from McBride, who will take part in a main-stage fireside chat, of his personal experience in communicating with the agencies during their respective investigations to help earn the company the favorable outcome it received is a must-attend for all compliance officers who might one day find themselves in the same shoes.

7. More lessons learned from regulatory enforcement

From dealing with the DOJ and SEC during their investigations to picking up the pieces after settlements with the agencies, Day 2 of our event has got you covered.

Michael Koenig, global chief ethics and compliance officer at meat processing giant JBS, shares his experience joining the company after its 2020 FCPA settlement that saw it agree to pay approximately $256 million. Koenig will discuss his early days on the job, building compliance back up, and continuing to collaborate with the DOJ and SEC after the penalties come down.

8. Continuing the compliance value conversation

Day 3 carries the momentum from McBride and Koenig into a full panel discussion on meaningful ways to convey the value of compliance.

Two CCOs, Beth Colling of CDM Smith and Melanie Sponholz of Waud Capital Partners, and a former audit, ethics, and compliance officer in Ellen Hunt, now with Spark Compliance Consulting, will share their experiences in demonstrating and communicating the value of compliance to the board, executive team, and more.

9. Cross-department partnership

As much as compliance must be viewed favorably by the board and executive team, its relationship with other departments across the business is equally critical.

Last year, I particularly enjoyed a session on collaboration between compliance and human resources. This year, I’m looking forward to a panel that will examine compliance’s relationship with audit and risk management and emphasize the success that can come from proper coordination.

My favorite part of the panel is that each speaker is from Mississippi State University: Joy Graves, compliance and risk officer; Colorado Robertson, director of risk management; and Lesia Ervin, director of internal audit. It’s not that I’m a Bulldogs fan; it’s more I’m a fan of hearing real-life examples that shed light into how these conversations actually take place.

10. Never forget the networking

Each year I preview our National Conference, I make sure to highlight the networking opportunities. It’s one of the most important elements of a CW event.

You can be sure to expect time to catch up with old friends or meet new connections throughout all three days. One attendee told me last year the reason they preferred our National Conference over other industry offerings was the care put into creating an environment that allows you to feel like you saw everyone you wanted to see and did everything you wanted to do. That’s something we take great pride in and are glad to offer once again to all attendees.

Looking forward to seeing you there.