Proactive Corporate Counsel & Corporate Governance

Level: Advanced
Runtime: 54 minutes
Recorded Date: October 05, 2018
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11:05 am - 12:05 pm
  • Responsibility for Corporate Governance
  • Practical Tips for Creating a Proactive Program
  • Best Practices to Include in Corporate Governance Programs
Runtime: 54 minutes
Recorded: October 5, 2018


Most corporate legal departments found themselves in a reactive mode. But as corporate governance has moved from low priority to high profile in the eyes of corporate stakeholder, corporate legal departments have had to take a more proactive approach.

Our panel will discuss the following:
- Why corporate governance is not solely a compliance department function
- How to develop a proactive governance program
- Getting a better handle on best practices

This program was recorded as part of Corporate Counsel's Women, Influence & Power in Law Conference held on October 5th, 2018.

Provided By

Women, Influence & Power in Law Conference


Julie Myers Wood

Guidepost Solutions, LLC

Julie Myers Wood is the chief executive officer of Guidepost Solutions, a leading investigative and compliance consulting firm. She joined the firm in 2012, as president of its Compliance, Federal Practice and Software Solutions division. Prior to joining Guidepost Solutions, Ms. Wood was the former founder and president of ICS Consulting, LLC, a firm specializing in compliance, risk assessments, immigration and customs investigations. Guidepost Solutions acquired ICS Consulting in September 2012.

Ms. Wood focuses on regulatory compliance and investigative work. Most recently, she supervised a comprehensive technology review and assessment of the Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) and anti-money laundering (AML) capabilities for a global bank, overseeing the implementation of data analytics capability to detect anomalies in AML and OFAC screening, as well as USD clearing for correspondent banks. Ms. Wood managed a team reviewing the AML and sanctions rules/wraps, internal software platform, investigator training and alert closure, and procedures/policies. In this role, she worked closely with New York regulators.

Prior to joining the private sector, Ms. Wood served as Head of Immigration and Customs Enforcement for the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) leading its largest investigative component and the second largest investigative agency in the federal government with a budget of nearly $6 billion and 15,000 employees. In supervising ICE’s investigative activity, Ms. Wood oversaw the agency’s wide variety of AML and trade compliance (OFAC, EAR, ITAR) investigations and private sector compliance programs, testified about best practices and investigations, and enforced the Export Administration Act and related export control regulations. Under her leadership, the agency developed new methods and proposed legislative language to combat emerging trends relating to trade-based money laundering, check cashing and money remitters, and stored value cards.

Ms. Wood’s previous leadership positions in the federal government include Assistant Secretary for Export Enforcement at the Department of Commerce and Chief of Staff for the Criminal Division at the Department of Justice. She also served as Deputy Assistant JULIE MYERS WOOD Chief Executive Officer Secretary (Money Laundering and Financial Crimes) at the Treasury Department, where she helped draft regulations relating to Title III of the Patriot Act, coordinated the U.S. government’s national report/strategy on money laundering, and oversaw Treasury Enforcement activities relating to OFAC. Ms. Wood served as an Assistant U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of New York, where she prosecuted criminal cases including financial crimes, securities fraud, and other white-collar criminal cases.

Farinaz S. Tehrani

Chief Legal Officer
Advantia Health

Farinaz S. Tehrani is the Chief Legal Officer at Advantia Health, an innovative healthcare and technology company focusing on women’s health. At Advantia, Farinaz manages and oversees all aspects of the legal function, including corporate transactions, equity and debt offerings, mergers and acquisitions, Board governance, commercial contracts, regulatory matters, intellectual property, litigation, risk management, privacy, and employment matters.

Ms. Tehrani has broad expertise serving in senior legal roles in both public and private companies. Her professional experiences include serving as General Counsel, Chief Compliance Officer and Corporate Secretary of Sunrise Senior Living, a global senior living company that manages and operates over 300 senior living communities in the US, UK, and Canada; Executive Vice President, Legal and Compliance, of Washington Prime Group, a $2B publicly-traded real estate investment trust that owns, manages and develops over 120 retail and commercial properties in 30 states; and Associate General Counsel, North America, at Transurban, a $30B publicly-traded Australian infrastructure company, with assets in Australia, U.S. and Canada, and a technology platform focused on innovative transport solutions. In her earlier career, Ms. Tehrani was Corporate and Securities Counsel at Hogan Lovells, a leading global law firm with over 2,800 lawyers in 45 offices throughout the world.

Ms. Tehrani received a B.A. degree in Economics from Tufts University and a J.D. degree from Georgetown University Law Center. She is a member of the Phi Beta Kappa Society.

Ms. Tehrani has been recognized as the Healthcare Lawyer of the Year by The Legal 500 Awards, and has been a panel speaker at various business and legal conferences including the Georgetown University Law Center Corporate Counsel Institute, Bloomberg, Association of Corporate Counsel, and Women, Influence & Power in Law. She is a member of the KPMG Executive Leadership Institute for Women, and also serves on the D.C. Advisory Board of the Tahirih Justice Center and as General Counsel of the Kenwood Citizens Association.

Margaret Foran

Chief Governance Officer, Senior Vice President & Corporate Secretary
Prudential Financial, Inc.

Ms. Foran is Chief Governance Officer, Vice President and Corporate Secretary of Prudential Financial, Inc. She has been a corporate governance leader throughout her career at Sara Lee Corporation, Pfizer, Inc. and J.P. Morgan & Co., Inc. She is admitted to the New York, Illinois, Pennsylvania, and New Jersey (In-house) Bars. Ms. Foran is a Director on the Board of Occidental Petroleum Corporation and Chairperson of its Corporate Governance, Nominating and Social Responsibility Committee .

She previously served on the Board of Directors of The MONY Group Inc. and MONY Life Insurance Company. Her many contributions to the Society of Corporate Secretaries and Governance Professionals is evidenced by her leadership roles as former Chairman, former director, former Chair of the Securities Law Committee, and former Treasurer. Her proactive shareholder outreach and thought leadership on key governance issues has earned her global recognition as a leader in corporate governance.

She has been recognized as one of the Most Influential People in Corporate Governance by Directorship Magazine for five consecutive years. In 2011, she was identified by Treasury and Risk Magazine as one of the Most Influential People in Finance. In 2013, Corporate Secretary Magazine named Ms. Foran “Governance Professional of the Year”. In 2015, Ms. Foran received the Linda Quinn Lifetime Achievement Award from

Ms. Foran received her B.A., magna cum laude, and J. D. degrees from the University of Notre Dame.

Heather McAllister

General Counsel & Secretary
Penn Foster, Inc.

Heather McAllister serves as General Counsel and Corporate Secretary of Penn Foster. Heather has overall responsibility for Penn Foster’s legal, compliance and governance matters. She is also a member of the executive management team that sets strategic direction for the company. Heather most recently was Vice President, Legal and Compliance of K12 Inc. (LRN) where she counseled the company on a wide range of legal, compliance and business matters.

Prior to K12, Heather served as Counsel for the Susan G. Komen Foundation and worked for two prestigious law firms based in Washington DC and New York City. She has also served as Special Counsel to public companies including Unilever (UL) and Hilton Worldwide (HLT).

Heather has a strong and proven record in effectively promoting strategic business goals in a variety of sectors including education, biotech, hospitality, energy and manufacturing and tech, working with multidisciplinary teams across business functions, supporting domestic and international business relationships, and managing day-to-day legal, compliance and business issues. She is also a frequent speaker on legal, compliance and governance issues at a variety of conferences, law schools and firms and has lectured at Georgetown Law School.

Heather earned a J.D. from the University of Pittsburgh and a MBA from The George Washington University. She also holds a certification from the Harvard University Program on Negotiation and CCEP and CIPP licenses in compliance and privacy, respectively.

Nancy McCready Higgins

Vice President and Chief Ethics & Compliance Officer
Bechtel Group

Nancy Higgins is the Vice President and Chief Ethics & Compliance Officer for the Bechtel group of companies. She is responsible for Bechtel's ethics and compliance program and its global network of ethics and compliance officers.

Prior to joining Bechtel in January 2007, Higgins was Executive Vice President of Ethics and Business Conduct for MCI, where she was brought in by its new CEO and Board of Directors to build an ethics and compliance program after the WorldCom scandal.

Before she joined MCI, Higgins was Vice President of Ethics and Business Conduct for Lockheed Martin. Before that, she headed the Office of Ethics and Business Conduct for The Boeing Company, where she created Boeing’s first company-wide ethics and compliance program. Earlier, she practiced law in the Boeing Corporate Law Department; at the Lane Powell firm in Seattle, Washington; and at Skadden Arps in New York City.

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