UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — Kenya Mann Faulkner, managing director for business intelligence and investigations at Kroll, a global risk management firm, has been named chief ethics and compliance officer at Penn State. Faulkner -- an attorney with more than 25 years of experience in higher education, government and criminal justice -- will begin her new role at the University on Dec. 3.
Kenya Mann Faulkner named chief ethics and compliance officer at Penn State
Faulkner will succeed Regis Becker, who retired from the University in June 2018. During the national search for Becker’s successor, Gary Langsdale, University risk officer, has served in the role in an interim capacity.
Faulkner specializes in leading enterprise-level risk management initiatives related to ethics, compliance, workplace issues, conflicts of interest and institutional governance. Throughout her career, Faulkner has served as a defense attorney, federal prosecutor, state inspector general, and vice president for legal affairs and general counsel at the University of Cincinnati. In addition to her current role at Kroll, in 2018, Faulkner was appointed as the first chief integrity officer for the Treasury Department of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.
“Penn State strives to create an environment built on integrity and respect where all students, faculty and staff members understand our institutional commitment to ethics at the highest level and are empowered to uphold Penn State’s values,” said Penn State President Eric Barron. “I look forward to the expertise Kenya will bring to our community as Penn State continues to develop programs and be a national leader in the areas of institutional ethics and compliance.”
At Penn State, Faulkner will oversee the Office of Ethics and Compliance and the University’s comprehensive set of programs related to annual employee trainings, athletics integrity, export controls, youth programs, the University’s Values and Culture Survey, the Penn State Hotline and more. In support of Penn State’s mission and strategic plan, Faulkner will develop innovative policies and approaches to educate and encourage administration, faculty, staff and students to embrace a culture focused on ethics and compliance.
In her current role as a managing director at Kroll Experts, Faulkner leads internal investigations related to legal and ethical violations for universities, corporations, government agencies and nonprofit organizations. Along with consulting on Title IX investigations, she provides counsel on governance, ethics and crisis management plans. As chief integrity officer for Pennsylvania’s Treasury Department, Faulkner focuses on establishing training, policies and procedures to uphold and support the department’s commitment to ethical conduct.
“With her expertise and experience in higher education, corporate and public-sector settings, Kenya is an outstanding choice to be Penn State’s next chief ethics and compliance officer,” said David Gray, senior vice president for Finance and Business. “We are grateful for the work Regis Becker stewarded over the past five years, and I am confident Kenya will be successful leading this valuable work. She’s a leader with an ability to collaborate with many groups to develop innovative approaches and enact positive change.”
Within higher education, as vice president for legal affairs and general counsel and university ethics officer at the University of Cincinnati, Faulkner led strategic and tactical legal initiatives and advised on a range of topics, including Title IX and labor and employment relations. She served on the university’s president’s cabinet, diversity council and executive committee, as well as co-chaired the compliance advisory committee. In 2017, Faulkner taught criminal justice at West Chester University.
“I am thrilled to be joining the Penn State community to help raise awareness of the University's many ethics and compliance resources,” Faulkner said. “I look forward to collaborating with the entire Penn State community in keeping ethics as a central focus of university life through a continued focus on education, training and policies.”
In 2011, she was appointed by the governor as inspector general for the state of Pennsylvania and tasked with leading an agency with 244 employees to investigate and eradicate misconduct, conflicts of interest and ethics violations in agencies under the governor’s jurisdiction. In 2010, she was appointed to the Philadelphia Independent Board of Ethics by the city’s mayor where she investigated campaign finance and ethics violations. Previously she was a partner with Ballard Spahr, assistant U.S. attorney in the criminal division for the U.S. Attorney’s Office in the Eastern District of Pennsylvania, and senior deputy attorney general for the Drug Strike Force Section of the Pennsylvania Office of Attorney General.
Throughout her career, Faulkner has been recognized with various awards from such federal and state agencies as the U.S. Attorney General’s Office, Internal Revenue Service and the Drug Enforcement Agency. In 2018, Faulkner was named an “Influencer of Law” by The Philadelphia Inquirer for her accomplishments in corporate investigations. In 2011, she was named as the “Diverse Attorney of the Year” by the law journal The Legal Intelligencer.
Among her many affiliations, Faulkner has served on the boards and committees of professional and civic organizations, including the National Association of College and University Attorneys, Ohio Women’s Bar Foundation, Greater Cincinnati Minority Counsel Program, YWCA of Greater Cincinnati and Special Olympics of Pennsylvania, among others.
Faulkner has been admitted to the bar of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, United States District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania and the Ohio Supreme Court Bar. She received a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice from Niagara University and a juris doctor from the State University of New York at Buffalo.