Are you in compliance?

Don't miss out! Sign up today for our weekly newsletters and stay abreast of important GRC-related information and news.

Top Minds 2018

Top Minds Hero
Nomination Form Button

Each year, Compliance Week highlights the best and brightest in the governance, risk, ethics, and compliance profession with the Top Minds award. Since we launched Top Minds in 2016, we've noticed some common qualities that united all of our nominations. These were things that seemed, time and time again, to set people apart in their field and establish them as real heavy hitters. The more we noticed this, the more we realized that these characteristics form a kind of roadmap for success. Top Minds are:

Effective: Most nominees could illustrate how effective their compliance program had been. What is the ROI on their program? What are the results they delivered? They could somehow quantify what their program did, which is easier said than done. There is no one way to do this, but it’s a hallmark of a strong compliance program, and of a strong compliance officer, to be able to do that.

Collaborative: A lot of our most compelling entries showed that compliance does not live in a bubble. For compliance to be truly effective, it has to live across the organization, contend with or break down silos, and create a holistic system of risk management of which compliance is an integral part.

Communicative: Whether it’s exporting compliance expectations across the organization, broadcasting visions and values, starting an organizational conversation … the most successful nominees use their compliance efforts as a bullhorn to make sure that the rest of the organization understands what it means to bring best compliance practices to everyday operations and what it means to build value through compliance.

Constrictive: A lot of compliance officers learn the hard way that when they simply act as a hall monitor, they get shut down. Many of the most successful nominees had figured out how not to just say no all the time, but to use their compliance program to empower what the company was trying to accomplish. Business is always trying to move faster and reach higher. For compliance, it’s a matter of saying, “we know you want to do these things, but how can we do them in a way that accomplishes your goals yet remains compliant with our internal and external standards?” They’re using compliance not as a way to hold the business back, but as a way to build value for the business.

Visionaries: A lot of our most compelling Top Minds had a vision not just for themselves as a professional, but for their organizations. These people are true believers in the discipline. Compliance isn’t something they do, it’s something they are. When they truly give themselves over to their roles and responsibilities,that’s what really elevates their abilities as compliance professionals from merely good to truly great … from a sharp mind to a Top Mind.

Want to learn more? Download the 2017 digital edition and read the in-depth interviews with the recipients. 


What is Top Minds?

Each year, Compliance Week highlights the best and brightest in the governance, risk, ethics, and compliance profession with the Top Minds award. Recipients participate in in-depth interviews with fellow leaders of the GRC community.

Who is eligible for consideration as a Top Minds recipient?

GRC professionals who have had high-profile or exceptional achievements in 2016 that had a major impact on the way business is conducted AND those with long track records of championing governance, risk, compliance, audit, and ethics over many years are strong candidates for nomination.

Are Top Minds recipients from previous years eligible again?

Yes. Compliance Week recognizes those who continue to make a difference year after year.

When is the nomination deadline for Top Minds?

The deadline for Top Minds 2018 is January 31, 2018.

For more information, e-mail Bill Coffin.

News Article

Brian Beeghly: The change agent

Jaclyn Jaeger | May 2, 2017

Brian Beeghly uses his experience in building better ethics and compliance programs to create technology solutions that could be at the forefront of changing the discipline of compliance itself.

News Article

Coffin on Compliance: Top Minds

Bill Coffin | April 6, 2017

Every year, Compliance Week’s Top Minds project brings together a dozen of the best and brightest thought leaders in the governance, risk, ethics, and compliance field. How many of them do you see in yourself?

News Article

Top Minds: a just and sustainable world

Tammy Whitehouse | August 23, 2016

Alison Taylor is passionate about helping organizations understand how they can improve their ethical, governance, compliance, and operational existence to create organizations that aren’t just good at being better, but are also better at doing good.

News Article

Top Minds: Shepherding the future of compliance

Joe Mont | August 9, 2016

Mike Lamberth, managing vice president of compliance for Capital One Financial, was on the job as compliance programs first started to become ubiquitous. His vision for the profession: a continuing evolution that combines talents, keeps pace with regulatory change, realizes the positive disruption technology will bring, and does all this without ever losing sight of protecting customers.

News Article

Top Minds: a man of letters

Bill Coffin | July 26, 2016

Editor Bill Coffin caught up with Christopher Michaelson, who works as a professor of ethics and business, as well as a practicing business advisor. By keeping a foot in both the academic and practical worlds, he sees a path forward for ethics and compliance not just as a professional or as a discipline, but as a business model for the 21st century.

News Article

Top Minds: a world without graft

Jaclyn Jaeger | July 19, 2016

Jaclyn Jaeger talks with Robert Barrington, an authority on global corruption, corporate bribery, and corruption within the United Kingdom, who heads the U.K.’s branch of Transparency International, the world’s leading anti-corruption organization.

News Article

Top Minds: the true believer

Tammy Whitehouse | July 12, 2016

Alan Halfenger stumbled into compliance more than two decades ago, but in the time since then, he has not only come to embrace and embody what it means to be a strong compliance professional, he has made it his mission to spread the word far and wide on what tomorrow’s compliance officers need to do to become great at their chosen profession.

News Article

Top Minds: The risk manager

Joe Mont | July 6, 2016

The group chief compliance officer for Fransabank, a Beirut-based institution that provides retail, corporate, investment, and private banking services to individuals and businesses in Lebanon, has utilized his expertise in risk management to allow his bank to thrive, despite the many geopolitical risk challenges that surround him. More from Joe Mont.

The Change Agent   The Great Communicator   The Media Mind   The Integration Master   The Risk Detective







Front-Line Anti-Bribery
  SVP, associate general counsel, and CCO

Univision Communications

  Acting Director

SEC Office of Compliance Inspections and Examinations


The Crossover Expert   The Auditor’s CCO   The Practical Ethicist   The Game Changer   The Whistleblower King





Chief Compliance Officer

Marsh & McLennan Companies
  Executive Director

Center for Audit Quality
  PhD, Professor of Practice

University of Virginia Darden School of Business
  Group CEO

International Centre for Sport Security

Phillips & Cohen




SVP and Chief Compliance Officer

Fannie Mae
  Head Group Compliance & Security

Syngenta AG
A World Without Graft   The True Believer   The Accidental Expert   Walking the Talk

  Alan K.



Executive Director

U.K. Chapter of Transparency International
  Consulting Partner

ACA Compliance Group
  Chief Ethics & Compliance Officer

  Senior Vice President, Chief Ethics & Compliance Officer

CA Technologies


The Risk Manager   Shepherding the Future of Compliance   A Man of Letters   Evolving with the Profession




Group Chief Compliance Officer

  Senior Compliance Officer

SunTrust, Capital One
  Associate Professor of Ethics and Business Law

Advisory Director
  Chief Compliance Officer & Ethics Officer



Rising to the Challenge   A Just and Sustainable World   Compliance and Caduceus   Failure is not an Option

  Alison J.



Deputy Chief Compliance Officer, Interim Chief Compliance Officer


Advisory Services, BSR
  Senior Vice President, Chief Risk, Compliance & Ethics Officer

UPMC Insurance Services & Health Plan
  Chief Compliance Officer