ERC And ECOA Join Forces To Create Ethics And Compliance Alliance

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Foremost Ethics and Compliance Organizations AlignTo Offer Industry Leading Programs, Research, Events and Professional Development

The Ethics Resource Center (ERC) and the Ethics & Compliance Officer Association (ECOA) today announced they have formed a strategic alliance to become the definitive source of research, education and practical tools for ethics and compliance practitioners in public and private institutions. Patricia J. Harned, Ph.D. will serve as Chief Executive Officer of all operations.

The ERC is America’s oldest nonprofit advancing high ethical standards and practices in public and private institutions, and the ECOA is a member-driven association for practitioners responsible for their organization's ethics and compliance and programs. The combination of ERC research and benchmarking and ECOA’s professional membership organization is unique in the industry.

ERC Board Chair Michael Oxley, former Congressman and House sponsor of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002, explained, “ERC and ECOA will retain their individual strengths as they develop their collaborative advantage in the industry. The combination of unique experience and market reach make them the only organizations currently working to scientifically identify, certify and promote practices and cultures that enhance organizational integrity and ethics. We look forward to the great potential of these leading organizations coming together.”

Lee Augsburger, Chair of the ECOA Board of Directors, said, “Both ERC and ECOA have long, proud histories of serving their constituents. At a time when boards and compliance leaders need greater resources and guidance to deal with a complex environment of ethical challenges, increasing regulation and shareholder engagement, we have a shared vision for leveraging our resources to provide answers.”

Within the alliance, ECOA will continue to provide networking, educational and professional development opportunities for its members. The focus for the association will be on innovation and effectiveness in ethics and compliance program implementation, with all content created by practitioners, for practitioners. ERC will retain its focus on independent, innovative research on emerging challenges and benchmarking initiatives for business, government, and nonprofit organizations.

Patricia Harned said, “We are ready and excited to offer an unprecedented level of thought leadership and depth of resources to organizational leaders who are faced with the daunting responsibility to help their members build and protect their organizations’ reputations and values.”

About the Ethics Resource Center
The Ethics Resource Center (ERC) is America’s oldest nonprofit organization devoted to independent research and the advancement of high ethical standards and practices in public and private institutions. Since 1922, ERC has been a resource for public and private institutions committed to a strong ethical culture. ERC’s expertise informs the public dialogue on ethics and ethical behavior. ERC researchers analyze current and emerging issues and produce new ideas and benchmarks that matter — for the public trust. Visit for more information.

About the Ethics and Compliance Officer Association
The Ethics & Compliance Officer Association (ECOA) is a member-driven association exclusively for individuals responsible for their organization's ethics, compliance, and business conduct programs. The only organization of its kind, its members represent the largest group of ethics and compliance practitioners in the world. The ECOA is credited with formally "founding" the ethics and compliance field in 1991.

The ECOA assembles people who are new to the field, as well as those with years of experience to share. Through the ECOA, practicing ethics and compliance officers collectively address the tough issues they face every day. Members learn from one another and, in turn, help to foster a global commitment to ethics and integrity. The collegiality of ECOA members has been its strength and the principal source of its ability to create a trusting and frank environment for all. The association draws value from the diversity of cultures and industries represented among its members.

The ECOA is a non-profit, 501(c)(6) association that derives all of its revenue from members' dues, conferences and other meeting fees.

About Patricia J. Harned, Ph.D.
Since 2004, Patricia Harned has served as the sixth president of the Ethics Resource Center (ERC), overseeing its research agenda and leading its survey and benchmarking work for clients. Dr. Harned also directs ERC’s outreach efforts to policymakers and federal enforcement agencies in Washington, DC and speaks and writes frequently as an expert on ethics in the workplace, corporate governance and global integrity. She advises CEOs and directors on effective ways to build an ethical culture and promote integrity in business activities.

Dr. Harned has been featured in media outlets including the Wall Street Journal, Washington Post, USA Today and CNN, and has appeared on NPR’s “The Diane Rehm Show.” She also served on the editorial board of Public Integrity journal.

Dr. Harned holds a bachelor of science in education degree from Elizabethtown College in Pennsylvania, a masters of education degree from Indiana University and a doctorate in the philosophy of education from the University of Pittsburgh. She was named one of the Top 100 Thought Leaders in Trustworthy Business Behavior in both 2010 and 2011 by the nonprofit organization Trust Across America.

For more information and press inquires please contact:

Brendan Sheehan, president, The Illawong Group

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Brendan Sheehan
since: 04/2011
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