About Maryann Clifford

Maryann Clifford is an ethics and compliance professional and lawyer with senior executive experience for three multi-national Fortune 500 companies. Most recently she was the Chief Ethics and Compliance Officer at BP in the aftermath of the 2010 Gulf of Mexico oil spill. She also served for five years as the Chief Ethics and Compliance Officer at Motorola.

Maryann does not believe in a “one size fits all” approach to ethics and compliance programs. Her experience as a senior leader at global companies gives her a deep perspective on how to effectively enhance and embed a company’s ethics and compliance program. Maryann’s recent position at BP also provided her with in depth experience working with government appointed monitors and regulators.

Maryann has particularly strong experience and expertise in the following areas:

  • Designing an ethics and compliance program that not only addresses the risks and challenges faced by a company but also is one that is practical;
  • Conducting tailored risk assessments within the businesses and providing hands-on support to implement recommendations;
  • Developing world-class training programs that are efficient,effective and well suited to a diverse audience;
  • Conducting training for Boards of Directors, senior executives and all levels of employees and contractors in all regions of the world;
  • Designing a comprehensive communications plan that matches the personality of the company and its executives;
  • Building strong internal investigation capabilities, including a transparent process that ensures a thorough and fair review of concerns.

As a lawyer who was responsible for managing complex legal and other misconduct related investigations over the years Maryann is well situated to support not only difficult internal investigations but also to help identify how the company can avoid similar future situations through process or policy enhancements, employee messaging, or whatever the lessons-learned process identifies.  Maryann had direct responsibility for the investigation function at Motorola, including all matters coming into the Company’s ethics line. At BP, in addition to managing the company’s ethics line and ensuring matters were handled appropriately, she had direct responsibility for matters involving possible bribery and corruption, antitrust, money laundering and trade regulation.  Establishing a robust, independent investigations process with strong reporting capability is one of the most important things a company can do to build trust among employees and others and manage risks.

Understanding how to build and leverage relationships with other functions such as Legal, HR, Audit, IT and Group Communications was integral to Maryann’s approach to implementing a successful ethics and compliance program.

Maryann’s work with BP’s ethics and compliance monitor during a time of great change for the company, as well as intense third party scrutiny of BP provided her with invaluable experience in how to best select a monitor and work through the various stages of the relationship. This included establishing the relationship, building an effective working environment for the monitor with senior executives, Board members and others, and implementing the recommendations and actions to best leverage the expertise offered by the monitor.

Maryann is a frequent speaker at conferences on the topics of ethics and compliance, anti-bribery and corruption, and trade regulation. Examples include an OECD Conference in Paris on building a strong anti-bribery program, The Economist forum in NYC on engaging with Boards of Directors, numerous conferences sponsored by the American Conference Institute (ACI) on bribery, corruption, and corporate compliance, the Ethics & Compliance Initiative on working with a monitor, and the International Business Ethics group on establishing appropriate ethics based compensation systems. In 2011 she co-chaired the ACI’s Anti-Bribery & Corruption Boot Camp Program in Houston. Most recently, Maryann served as a member of a Blue Ribbon panel of ethics and compliance professionals led by the Ethics & Compliance Initiative (ECI) to formulate guidance on best practices in the field of ethics and compliance.

Maryann serves on the Board of the CEELI Institute which is an independent, not-for-profit, dedicated to advancing the rule of law through training and other programs.