Nancy Higgins of Bechtel Receives ERC’s Carol R. Marshall Award for Innovation in Corporate Ethics

January 28, 2015

Nancy Higgins, the head of Bechtel’s ethics and compliance operations, has been awarded the Ethics Resource Center’s 2014 Carol R. Marshall Award for Innovation in Corporate Ethics. Established in 2011 with an endowment from the Northrup Grumman Foundation, the Marshall Award is presented annually by ERC for innovation and leadership in building and enhancing corporate ethics and compliance programs.

A member and past chair of the Conference Board’s Global Council on Business Conduct and a former chair of the Defense Industry Initiative’s working group on Business Conduct and Ethics, Higgins is known as a thought leader, a champion of best practices, and a mentor to professional colleagues. She joined Bechtel in 2007 as Vice President and Chief Ethics & Compliance Officer, and previously held top ethics positions at Boeing, MCI, and Lockheed. In 2003, she was tapped for the top ethics and compliance post at MCI as the former WorldCom worked to rebuild itself after the company’s fraud and accounting scandal. She also has served on a variety of ERC research and policy advisory groups for more than 20 years and remains an active participant in the group’s Fellows program.

Her innovations at Bechtel include industry-leading “Ethics Workshops” that engage employees worldwide in small-group discussions and problem-solving exercises for real-world ethics challenges confronting the company.

“Nancy has a track record of generously supporting others who are seeking to advance ethics and compliance programs across the corporate universe,” said Patricia Harned, CEO of ERC and the Ethics and Compliance Officers Association (ECOA), in presenting the award at the ERC Fellows Dinner on January 14.

“She has pioneered innovative ways to ensure the effectiveness of E&C programs, often including collaborations toward ethical business practices among traditional competitors in industries that have not done so before,” Harned added.

The Marshall Award posthumously honors Carol R. Marshall who pioneered corporate ethics and compliance as the top ethics officer at Lockheed Martin during the 1990s. Known for charisma, intuition, and creativity, Marshall believed ethics started at the top and flowed down throughout an organization and set out to fully integrate Lockheed Martin’s ethics programs from the C-Suite to the shop floor.

The Award has previously been presented to Patricia Ellis of Raytheon, Best Buy’s Kathleen Edmond, and John C. Lenzi of ITT.