Chief Risk Officer

Start your journey as a chief risk officer.

Learn the skills you need for an executive role as chief risk officer to identify diverse sources of corporate risk, protect your organization, and seize new business opportunities.   

The chief risk officer is proactive, has strong business acumen, effective leadership skills, and a flair for communication. Mason's chief risk officer program, presented in partnership with industry, government, and educational leaders, prepares you for a leadership role at the executive level by helping you develop the knowledge and skills you'll need to add significant value to your organization.

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.

Sample Schedule

  • In-Person Opening January 25-27, 2023
  • Online Sessions February 2-March 23, 2023
  • Mid-Program In-Person Session March 30-31, 2023
  • Online Sessions April 6-May 25, 2023
  • In-Person Closing June 5-6, 2023

Program Topics

  • Risk Management Ecosystem 25%
  • Transforming the Culture for Risk Management 20%
  • Building Business Acumen 20%
  • Leadership, Communications, and Culture 20%
  • Strategic Mindset for the CRO 15%

Learning Outcomes

Graduates of this program will be 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 of Certification

This program is delivered as a non-degree, School of Business executive certificate. Attendees have the opportunity to add a badge credential from Credly for successful completion of the program to their resume for organizational recognition (internal and external) and to indicate the accomplishment of obtaining a George Mason University credential.

Program Information

Dates: January 25-June 6, 2023
Delivery: Hybrid; online sessions and in-person sessions at Mason Square (formerly the Arlington Campus)
Cost: $8,500

"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.”

Alice Bernardi, CRO '21 | Director of Finance at Avascent

“The George Mason [University] 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 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."

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

Meet Your Instructors

  • 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.
  • peadar-duffy

    Global ESG Lead, Archer IRM

    Peadar Duffy 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.
  • 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.
  • David Halwig

    Senior Principal of IntelliVen, Inc.

    David Halwig 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.
  • Karen Hardy

    Co-Founder, Risk Management Association

    Dr. Karen 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.
  • Assistant Deputy, Chief of Naval Operations for Manpower, Personnel, Training, and Education

    Dr. Mark Livingston assumed the duties as Assistant Deputy Chief of Naval Operations for Manpower, Personnel, Training, and Education (ADCNO MPT&E) in May 2020. In this role, he serves as the civilian executive advisor to the Chief of Naval Personnel.
  • 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.

Related Programs

Frequently asked Questions

Are faculty from George Mason University?

A combination of Mason faculty, adjuncts, and subject matter experts teach in the program. 

How was the curriculum created and courses chosen?

An advisory council of professionals at the c-suite level help George Mason University develop the program curricula, which is dynamic and changes based on feedback and emerging practices. 

Is this program eligible under the GI Bill?

Not at this time. 

Are there any discounts to attend the program?

Preferred pricing for government employees is $7,650. A promotional code will be provided to those accepted into the program. Please call (703) 993-8275 if you are a Mason employee or would like to discuss a group rate.   

What does the cost of the program include?

The $8,500 program cost includes all materials, activities, catering, receptions, and a certificate of completion.

How do I register and pay for the program?

You must first submit an online application. Once accepted into the program, you will be provided directions on how to register and pay. 

How much time will participants need to devote to the program?

Participants should expect to spend six full days at the George Mason University Arlington Campus as well as participating in 5-6 online topics delivered in two-week increments. For each two-week topic there will be approximately 8-10 hours of learning including readings, videos, video presentations, live sessions, discussion boards, and assignments. 

How are the courses conducted?

As a hybrid program, topics are covered during two multi-day in-person sessions and online.  

There are six in-person days and approximately four months of online delivery.  

Online topics include a combination of asynchronous components such as discussion boards, presentations, videos, and assignments, as well as live synchronous sessions. Expect one to three scheduled live sessions for each online topic. These generally start between 7 and 8 p.m. ET. Live sessions are recorded and posted the next day. 

Zoom or Blackboard Collaborate is used for live online sessions. A tutorial is provided to participants in pdf form, and an optional live tutorial session is offered as well. All registered participants are given access to Blackboard approximately two weeks prior to the start of the program. 

Do I get university credit for this program? Will I be graded?

This is a non-credit executive development program so you will not earn university credit. However, CEUs (continuing education units) authorized by George Mason University are available upon request. At least two weeks prior to the start of the program, please send your request to You will be asked to provide additional personal information in order to have your CEUs properly recorded.   

Participants will not be graded, but In order to receive a certificate of completion, participants will need to complete a minimum of 80 percent of the work assigned (including assignments, deliverables, discussion boards, and live sessions). At the end of each topic, faculty are asked to provide a summary of participant’s engagement. 

How many participants are enrolled?

The maximum number of participants for a single cohort is 20. 

What are some common student personas/backgrounds/job titles?

Most participants have at least six years of management experience and are at the Director level or above. Approximately half of the participants have been from the public/non-profit sector and half from the private sector. The average age of participants is 45. 

Is there an application deadline?

No. Participants are admitted on a rolling basis up to the start of the program or until the cohort is full.