Cynthia Fornelli J.D.

Executive Director, Center for Audit Quality

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 CEOs from eight leading public company auditing firms and the American Institute of CPAs, as well as three independent members from outside the public company auditing profession.

Fornelli serves on the Advisory Board of the Ira M. Millstein Center for Global Markets and Corporate Ownership, the Audit & Risk Oversight Committee Advisory Council of the National Association of Corporate Directors (NACD), the Disclosure and Transparency Committee of the International Corporate Governance Network, and the Markets Advisory Council of the Council of Institutional Investors. She previously served on the NACD's 2010 Blue Ribbon Commission on the Audit Committee and 2009 Blue Ribbon Commission on Risk Governance.

In 2017, Fornelli was named for the ninth time to the NACD Directorship list of the 100 most influential people in corporate governance. Additionally, she has appeared for 11 consecutive years on Accounting Today’s roster of the Top 100 Most Influential People. She has been named to CPA Practice Advisor’s list of the Most Powerful Women in Accounting, was included on Compliance Week’s “Top Minds 2017” list, and has received a Special Award of Merit from the American Accounting Association’s Auditing Section.

Fornelli speaks regularly on behalf of the public company auditing profession at events and in the national, international, and trade media. Additionally, she offers her views as one of a select group of thought leaders participating in LinkedIn’s Influencers program.

Prior to becoming the CAQ'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 (SEC), 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 JD at The George Washington University. A former securities lawyer, she is a member of the District of Columbia Bar and the American Bar Association.