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Adriana  Sanford

Adriana Sanford

Cyber Security Expert, International Whistleblower, International TV Commentator, Strategic International Consultant & Author

Biography

Following an abduction while on company business, international whistleblower Dr. Adriana Sanford has distinguished herself by educating executives, thousands of college students, and the public at large on global threats and the dangers of corporate corruption. She also appears regularly as an international television commentator to over 24 million viewers in the United States and Latin America.  Read More >

Dr. Sanford works with a broad range of global organizations to strengthen responsibility and builds foundations of trust and integrity in foreign markets. The Notre Dame and Georgetown-educated corporate lawyer provides high impact experiential courses featuring real-world encounters that demonstrate the complexities of open-ended situations and the severe consequences that may result from foreign jurisdiction non-compliance.

Have you ever been on a path where no path you take is the right path? As a former in-house counsel of a Fortune 50 company, Dr. Sanford warns that legal ethics rules are varied in foreign countries and sometimes conflict with domestic rules, which places U.S. companies, executives, and in-house counsel in the position of deciding which laws and ethical rules to follow and which to break. The absence of uniform global rules of legal ethics creates serious ramifications for U.S. attorneys with multijurisdictional practices. Her focus is on global threats and laws at the international level, where possible outcomes for a company’s non-compliance creates criminal liability and poses physical danger for executives and their in-house counsel in foreign territories.

Dr. Sanford’s extensive experience addressing international organized crime and linking it to corporate fraud, bribery clubs, and other forms of business malfeasance spans over a 20-year period, including an illegal scheme that resulted in the arrest and 30-year imprisonment of her former employer’s CEO. Over the past years, she handled several complex corruption and embezzlement cases in the United States and Latin America.

When the pre-Snowden whistleblower later found herself in peril for uncovering illegal schemes that went far beyond taxes and white-collar crime, she again diligently protected her team. For the last decade, Dr. Sanford has focused her path towards teaching and educating others on these difficult issues and global threats. Her actions have been viewed by the public as a badge-of-honor and a model to be studied within corporate legal ethics.

Although Dr. Sanford’s most recent situation is over twelve years old, it is a textbook case of why whistleblower protection laws and regulations should protect attorneys. After uncovering an illegal scheme, her life was in danger; she was repeatedly placed in harm’s way and was faced with bad actors that were corrupt, unethical, and dangerous. Physical harm had already befallen at least one team member.

Her courage and endurance through trial and tribulations, along with two decades of practical legal knowledge in real-world settings, sets her apart from other academics in her field.

An unfortunate result of being an international whistleblower was that twelve years later, she was reprimanded for her disclosures to the regulators and the press. Despite the fact that Dr. Sanford’s disclosures were made for safety reasons, and that most of the on-going illegal activity was never made public (except for a Brazilian tax matter), she received a one-month sanction from a state bar more than a decade later.

With decades of international law experience, multiple law degrees, and fluency in four languages, the international cybersecurity expert serves as a keynote to leading think tanks, non-profits, and companies in the U.S., Mexico, and Chile, and has lectured at more than 130 industry conferences and fora. Last year, Dr. Sanford provided keynote addresses to high-ranking government officials and senior corporate leaders in Chile. She also served on the advisory committee of the World Economic Forum’s Partnering Against Corruption Initiative (PACI), as well as a Georgetown Law Dean’s Visiting Scholar and a Visiting Professor at the Universidad de Talca’s business school in Chile.

Earlier this year, she co-authored a security book, Women in Security: Changing the Face of Technology and Innovation, which is part of the Women in Science and Engineering book series. The business law and ethics professor to more than 7,500 graduate and undergraduate students continues to educate students at Loyola Marymount University and Pepperdine University. In addition to her speaking engagements, teaching, and serving on the USA board of the largest human rights organization in the world, Dr. Sanford has also published numerous articles and co-authored two books on global threats that were adopted by the Institute for Supply Management. Read Less ^

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