On ethics: Katherine A. Lawler

An interview by Adam Turteltaub, CHC, CCEP, Vice President of Strategic Initiatives & International Programs, Society of Corporate Compliance and Ethics & Health Care Compliance Association.

AT: You have an interesting structure to your ethics program. Can you walk us through it?

KL: At most companies, ethics and compliance are a combined function. At U.S. Bank, we felt it was important to create a stand-alone focus on fostering a culture of ethics and trust. The Global Ethics Office was created in 2017 within our Law Division, and I report to the general counsel. Our ethics program is a bridge between compliance and culture, and we work closely with Compliance and Human Resources (HR) to help shape a culture that goes beyond regulatory compliance and focuses on doing the right things the right way.

My team is responsible for the traditional, core ethics functions such as the employee ethics line, the code of ethics, and training and certification. But we’re also responsible for shaping culture through education and awareness, policy development, and strategic partnerships.

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