NAEM Women’s Leadership Roundtable 2019

Debbie Hennelly, Founder & President; Resiliti


Debbie Hennelly, Founder & President; Resiliti

Debbie Hennelly founded Compliance & Ethics Solutions — now known as Resiliti — in 2004.  She has spent more than 25 years developing and implementing compliance and ethics programs for organizations, ranging from small companies to some of the largest multinationals. Using her legal expertise in combination with her engineering background, she guides organizations and their senior leadership teams with innovative approaches to ethics and compliance program development and oversight, dynamic risk assessment and management, creating and sustaining a culture of integrity and ethical leadership, and strengthening competitive resilience.


Debbie's unique ability to "right-size" an organization's strategy is derived, in part, from a proprietary approach to integrating risk and cultural insights into an organization's strategic planning, operations and leadership framework.


Along with her talented Resiliti colleagues, she develops and facilitates interactive training programs to help ensure employee assimilation, and creates codes of conduct, processes and other tools to help organizations advance a "speaking up" culture grounded in ethical leadership and more conscious decision-making.


Debbie is also a prolific writer and lecturer. She has served as adjunct faculty for BP, facilitated small-group workshops in ethical leadership, and led interactive learning with employees, managers, senior leaders and board directors for other publicly-traded and privately-held companies and organizations.


As the movement for more responsible business practices has matured, Debbie and her colleagues have been facilitating learning experiences that address the competitiveness issues companies are grappling with now, such as: the role of diversity and inclusion in employee retention and value creation; the impacts of the #MeToo movement; and the stakeholder expectations for next-generation executive leadership and governance models.


Debbie has served as general counsel and chief compliance officer for two privately-held chemical companies, Sonneborn and PeroxyChem, during transitional periods for both companies, reporting directly to their CEOs and meeting quarterly with their Boards of Directors. Debbie's experience holding senior in-house roles in public and private companies, as well as working in two ethics and compliance specialty service providers, has enabled her to acquire an uncommon perspective on both sides of the client/vendor relationship.


Earlier in her career, she spent more than 10 years in legal and compliance roles at AT&T, Lucent Technologies, Avaya, BP and Avon Products, with responsibilities ranging from implementing environmental and safety management systems to leading global compliance and ethics programs. She also advised other multinational companies on compliance and ethics program implementation while serving as vice president and general counsel of Integrity Interactive (now part of SAI Global), and as a senior knowledge leader with LRN.


Prior to her in-house roles, Debbie spent five years practicing environmental law with Bryan Cave in Washington, D.C., and Riker Danzig in New Jersey. Before earning her law degree, she was a civil/environmental engineer and supervised construction for Exxon Company, USA.


She is a past Chair of the Association of Corporate Counsel's Environmental Law Committee, past Assistant Chair of ACC-Europe's Compliance & Ethics Committee, and currently serves as a member of the Alumni Association Advisory Committee at the University of Virginia School of Law.


Debbie earned a B.S.E. in Civil and Environmental Engineering from Duke University, and a J.D. from the University of Virginia School of Law.

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