FacultyFaculty/Author Profile
Nancy McCready Higgins

Nancy McCready Higgins

Bechtel Group, Inc.
Vice President and Chief Ethics & Compliance Officer
San Francisco, CA, USA


Nancy Higgins is the Vice President and Chief Ethics & Compliance Officer for Bechtel, a group of engineering, construction and project management companies with more than a century of experience on complex projects in challenging locations around the world.  She is responsible for developing and maintaining Bechtel's global ethics and compliance program, including its international network of ethics and compliance officers.  Prior to joining Bechtel in January 2007, Higgins was Executive Vice President of Ethics and Business Conduct for MCI, where she was brought in by the new CEO and the Board of Directors as a member of the executive leadership team and built a world class ethics and compliance program after the WorldCom scandal. 

Before she joined MCI, Higgins was Vice President of Ethics and Business Conduct at Lockheed Martin.  Prior to that, she headed the Office of Ethics and Business Conduct for The Boeing Company, where she created Boeing’s first company-wide ethics and compliance oversight program.  She had previously served in Boeing’s Law Department where she managed complex corporate litigation and advised the Board on shareholder litigation issues.  Prior to that, she practiced law at the Lane Powell firm in Seattle, Washington, and at Skadden, Arps in New York City. 

Long active in the American Bar Association, Higgins has served on both the ABA Standing Committee on Professionalism and its Standing Committee on Ethics and Professional Responsibility.  She has also served in a number of leadership positions in the Litigation Section, including Litigation Council member and co-chair of the Committee on Corporate Counsel and the Ethics and Professionalism Committee.

Higgins is a member and past chair of the Conference Board Global Council on Business Conduct.  She has served as the Chair of the Working Group of the Defense Industry Initiative on Business Conduct and Ethics (DII), a consortium of defense contractors that subscribe to a set of principles for high standards of business ethics and conduct. She has been a member of the Board of Directors of the Ethics and Compliance Officer Association (the ECOA). Higgins is a Corporate Fellow of the Ethics Resource Center Fellows Program and serves on its Advisory Board.  In 2012, she served as a member of the ERC Independent Advisory Group on the 20th Anniversary of Federal Sentencing Guidelines for Organizations. 

She was the 2014 recipient of the Carol R. Marshall Award for Innovation in Corporate Ethics by the Ethics Resource Center. The award recognizes a chief ethics and compliance officer for innovation and leadership in building or enhancing a corporate ethics and compliance program.

Higgins earned her bachelor’s degree in Russian History from Western Washington State University in Bellingham, Washington, and holds a law degree from the University of Washington in Seattle.  She has completed the Advanced Management Program at INSEAD, an international business school in Fontainebleau, France.

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