Cynthia M. Fornelli

Executive Director

Cindy Fornelli is the Executive Director of the Center for Audit Quality (CAQ). The CAQ is dedicated to enhancing investor confidence and public trust in the global capital markets by fostering high quality performance by public company auditors. The CAQ also convenes and collaborates with other stakeholders to advance the discussion of critical issues requiring action and intervention, and advocates policies and standards that promote public company auditors’ objectivity, effectiveness, and responsiveness to dynamic market conditions.

As Executive Director, Fornelli is responsible for carrying out the mission and vision of the CAQ’s Governing Board, which is comprised of eight leaders from public company audit firms, the American Institute of CPAs, and three independent public members.

In 2016, Fornelli was named for the eighth time to the NACD Directorship list of the 100 most influential people in corporate governance. Additionally, she has appeared for ten consecutive years on Accounting Today’s roster of the Top 100 Most Influential People and, in 2015, was included on CPA Practice Advisor's list of the Most Powerful Women in Accounting. In January 2014, the American Accounting Association’s Auditing Section honored Fornelli and the CAQ with a Special Award of Merit.

Fornelli serves on the Advisory Board of the Ira M. Millstein Center for Global Markets and Corporate Ownership, the Securities and Exchange Commission Historical Society’s Board of Trustees, the Audit & Risk Oversight Committee Advisory Council of the National Association of Corporate Directors (NACD), and the Accounting and Auditing Committee of the International Corporate Governance Network. She previously served on the National Association of Corporate Directors’ 2010 Blue Ribbon Commission on the Audit Committee and 2009 Blue Ribbon Commission on Risk Governance.

A frequent guest speaker and panelist at prominent business community events, she has been interviewed or quoted by media outlets including Fox Business News, National Public Radio, USA Today, The Washington Post, The Wall Street Journal, Financial Times, the Associated Press, Reuters, Dow Jones Newswires, and Bloomberg News. Additionally, Fornelli regularly offers her views as one of a select group of thought leaders participating in LinkedIn’s Influencers program.

Prior to becoming the Center’s Executive Director, Fornelli was the Regulatory and Conflicts Management Executive at Bank of America. In that role, she was responsible for managing enterprise-wide conflicts that potentially could arise from the bank's delivery of multiple products and services across several business divisions, particularly as these conflicts related to securities regulation. Fornelli also had responsibility for coordinating enterprise regulatory relations with securities and banking regulators.

Before joining Bank of America, Fornelli was Deputy Director of the Division of Investment Management of the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, where she was responsible for implementing SEC policy, rules, and regulations in the investment company and investment advisory industries.

Fornelli is a graduate of Purdue University and received her J.D. at The George Washington University. She is a former securities lawyer and a member of the Washington, DC bar and the American Bar Association.