George Mason UniversitySchool of Business

Chief Risk Officer

The Chief Risk Officer “is proactive, has strong business acumen, effective leadership skills, and a flair for communication.” The emerging CRO role “doesn’t focus solely on second-line performance risk oversight that identifies things that might, have, or will go wrong.” Rather, the CRO “assumes operational business responsibility where necessary or where it makes the most sense – ideally from a position on the management board. Hence CRO performance will be measured as much by missed opportunities as by things going wrong.” - Willis Towers Watson - The Evolving Chief Risk Officer Role, March 2016

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Participants who complete the five-month program will be prepared for a leadership role at the executive level; possessing the knowledge and skills to align with the organization’s business leaders; design an integrated risk strategy needed to meet the business objectives, and add significant value to the organization. Network with faculty, subject matter experts; and other participants.

Dates: October 19, 2021 – March 3, 2022

Cost: $8,500

Delivery: Hybrid - online and in-person at Mason Arlington Campus

Who Should Attend?

The ideal candidate has...

  • Four to six years of experience in middle to upper management with demonstrated organizational leadership experience.
  • Working knowledge of risk management tools.
  • Experience implementing risk management practices.
  • Solid communications skills.
  • An undergraduate degree or equivalent experience.

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Graduates of the CRO Program are able to:

  • Establish and lead the risk management function as a strategic and aligned partner with all agency units.
  • Think strategically and ensure the ERM strategy fully aligns with and supports the mission and value proposition of the organization.
  • Lead the conversation for determining the organization’s risk appetite and tolerance and the threats and opportunities derived from risk.
  • In concert with senior leadership, lead the development, a comprehensive strategic enterprise risk management plan with a mission, vision, and specific, measurable goals that are fully aligned with the organization.
  • Create and sustain an enabling risk-management ecosystem with conditions to encourage a risk-aware culture and risk management practices.
  • Build capacity for being a leader and effectively exercising leadership as a senior executive.
  • Lead the organization in viewing risk management as an opportunity for innovation and change to drive mission performance

Badge Chief Risk Officer OL

Participants who complete the program will be given a Credly Chief Risk Officer Executive Certificate badge.

Constructs of Knowledge

  • Transforming the Culture for Risk Management
  • Leadership, Communication, and Culture
  • Risk Management Ecosystem
  • Strategic Mindset for the CDO
  • Business Acumen


avascent ourteam alice bernardi 288x288 500x500Alice Bernardi Director of Finance at Avascent, CRO ‘21

“I lead the Accounting, Finance, Compliance, and Contracting functions at Avascent, a global strategy, and management consulting firm. In my role as Director of Finance, I oversee financial forecasting and reporting, internal controls, international tax, and regulatory compliance, and contracting. I had the pleasure to attend GMU’s Chief Risk Officer program. Our instructors were excellent, and I found the content very thorough and timely. I would recommend the program to any finance, risk, or internal audit professionals interested in strengthening their leadership and strategic thinking skillset.”

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Twane Duckworth, Managing Director of Risk Management, City of Garland, CRO ‘21

 “The George Mason program for business executives is unparalleled. You will experience fast-paced, relevant education from pre-eminent practitioners alongside peers at the top of their game. I am unsure which was more impressive...my classmates or my professors! Be prepared to challenge your own thinking and possibly change your convictions with immediate application to your job the next day in many cases. I would certainly recommend this program for any individual serious about their discipline and ready to elevate their innovation.”




Marcelo Brutti

Executive Vice President and Chief Risk Officer, City National Bank

Marcelo Brutti is Executive Vice President and Chief Risk Officer of City National Bank. Mr. Brutti leads the bank’s risk management and compliance programs, which support business growth strategies and meet market and U.S. regulatory requirements. He oversees the bank’s Risk Management Division and facilitates the Risk Committee of the Board of Directors. He is also a member of the company’s Executive Committee and is an Executive Sponsor and Chair of the Management Risk Committee. With more than two decades of broad experience in the financial services industry, Mr. Brutti has held positions at Santander Bank, TD Bank, and Wells Fargo. Prior to joining City National, he served as chief risk officer at Hyundai Capital America.

Mr. Brutti is an active member of the community and sits on the board of the Boys & Girls Club of Central Orange Coast. He graduated from Washington College in Maryland with a double major in business management and economics, and he received an MBA from Florida Atlantic University. He also holds a risk management and strategic decision certification from Stanford University.

Peadar DuffyPeadarDuffyPic

Global ESG Lead, Archer IRM

Peadar who is the Global ESG Lead at Archer IRM has been at the leading edge of risk professionalism assisting companies to manage strategic risks for some 30 years. He has written a paper explaining why a systems approach is required to understand and manage Quantum Risks which he has defined. Recently Peadar published an article about ESG Quantum Effects in which he gives practical advice to those who are new to the topic. More broadly in bringing the first-hand military experience to the boardroom Peadar has developed a portfolio of AI-enabled risk assessment automation providing relevant information from both inside and outside organizations.


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Ken Fletcher

President, Kestrel Hawk Consulting, Inc.

Ken Fletcher is the founder and president of Kestrel Hawk Consulting, Inc., a veteran-owned small business (VOSB) risk management consultancy he founded in 2017 following retirement from Federal Government service. During his tenure at the Transportation Security Administration (TSA), he held several executive leadership positions including Chief Risk Officer (CRO), Deputy Assistant Administrator, Deputy Federal Security Director, and Executive Advisor to the TSA Administrator and Deputy Administrator. As TSA’s CRO, he led the development and implementation of an ERM program widely recognized as a model across the federal government and participated in the inter-agency working that rewrote OMB Circular A-123, Managements Responsibility for Enterprise Risk Management and Internal Control. The TSA ERM program he implemented was identified in 2016 by the Government Accountability Office (GAO) as a good federal government practice. He is the Past President of the Association for Federal Enterprise Risk Management (AFERM) and a member of AFERM’s board of directors and executive committee.


David Halwig

Senior Principal of IntelliVen, Inc.

David is a Senior Principal of IntelliVen, Inc. a private consulting firm that provides strategic services to selective senior executives and board members of mid-sized companies at critical inflection points in their growth. He specializes in strategic transformation for companies seeking to move to the next stage of their evolution. His support has included interim C-level roles for client companies. He emphasizes strong, enterprise-wide accountability and strategic risk management for key performance areas.

David spent over 25 years with KPMG LLC and KPMG Consulting, retiring in November 2001. He was a firm's general partner and served a broad array of advisory clients in the public and private sectors. He led various large-scale federal and commercial consulting practices with a principal focus on technology, enterprise strategy, and operations. His final assignment was as SVP-Latin America Public Sector with region-wide P&L responsibility.

David is an established authority in leadership development and in developing leadership teams. He is a regular lecturer for the Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute's Archer Center for Leadership Development. He is a member of the Board of Trustees for St George's School in Newport, RI, a member of the Executive Committee, and chairs of the Audit and Risk Management Committee. He is a member of the Board of Trustees and chairs the Audit Committee for the Langley School. He is a founding member of the Chief Risk Officer Council and an adjunct faculty member at George Mason University.

Karen Hardy

Karen Hardy

Co-Founder Risk Management Association

Dr. Hardy has been the architect of a leading and best practice enterprise risk management operation built from the ground up for a $7 billion Cabinet-level government agency with 48,000 employees that support economic growth and opportunity. Prior to her public service, Dr. Hardy managed several branches in consumer banking at Citibank in the private industry.

Dr. Hardy has advised many organizations on enterprise management strategies including the Executive Office of the U.S. President, White House Office of Management and Budget; the United Nations, the Governor’s Office of New York, and the Mayor's Office of Chicago. She has served as a Visiting Lecturer at Think Tanks such as the Brookings Institution Executive Education and taught internationally at the University of West Indies. She is the author of several books on risk management and a recipient of "The Most Promising New Textbook" Award. Dr. Hardy earned her Doctor of Education in Organizational Leadership and Human Resource Development from Nova Southeastern University in Florida.


Christopher E. Mandel RIMS-CRMP, ARME, CPCU

Founder, President, and Managing Consultant for Excellence in Risk Management, LLC

Christopher E. Mandel is Founder, President, and Managing Consultant for Excellence in Risk Management, LLC an independent risk consultancy founded in Texas in 2004. He is the recently retired SVP, Strategic Solutions for Sedgwick, and the Founding Director of the Sedgwick Institute where he was responsible for helping the company reach its strategic vision and leading the industry to the next level. Mr. Mandel has more than 25 years of experience in and large global corporate risk management. He has pioneered the development of integrated, enterprise, and strategic risk management at USAA, where S&P rated USAA as “excellent” and a “leader in ERM”. His career also includes leadership roles at Liberty Mutual, Marsh, Verizon, American National Red Cross, and PepsiCo. He is s a frequent industry speaker and author providing risk-related columns to the trade press since 1996. He holds numerous designations and certifications and was named Risk Manager of the Year and awarded RIMS’ Lifetime Achievement Award (Goodell) in 2016. He is recognized by his peers as a thought leader in ERM and related disciplines. Chris is also GMU alumni from the 1994 MBA program.


Dr. Mark A Livingston ADCNO MPT&E/OPNAV N1B

Assistant Deputy Chief of Naval Operations

Mark Livingston’s professional career spans more than 40-years including military, private sector, and civilian federal government service. He is currently an Associate Adjunct Professor at UMGC, University of Arkansas and teaches the GMU Chief Risk Officer certificate course. He was recently recognized as UMGC outstanding adjunct faculty member and nominated for the Stanley J. Drazek Teaching Excellence Award. As a thought leader, he has spent the majority of his career driving organizations to achieve new goals and success in the areas of leadership, organizational design, and behavior. He has been active in the areas of diversity, mentoring, and development of future leaders at all levels of leadership. His current position is as Assistant Deputy Chief of Naval Operations for Manpower, Personnel, Training & Education (MPT&E). He is responsible for a budget of 36 billion dollars and driving efforts to develop, modernize, and transform personnel policies and systems, for planning, programming, and budgeting.

Previously, he served as the Senior Director for Security, Intelligence & Insider Threat for the Deputy Under Secretary of the Navy. He is currently teaching the Chief Risk Officer Certificate course at George Mason University, Homeland Security and Strategic Decision Making at the University of Arkansas, and the CAPSTONE MBA course at UMGC. Dr. Livingston’s has certifications in the fields of enterprise risk management, intelligence, security, counterintelligence, and counterterrorism. He has a BS in Psychology, MSc in Human Resource Management, MBA and, a Doctorate in Management all from UMGC.

Educational Associate

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We are pleased to be an educational partner with the Association for Federal Enterprise Risk Management. The mission of AFERM is to advance the practice of Enterprise Risk Management (ERM) in the federal government through thought leadership, education, and collaboration.