“I tell people that compliance is a misnomer; I really am a risk management, ethics and compliance officer.

Joe Henry 

In this episode of the Principled podcast, Joe Henry, U.S. compliance officer for Braskem, a Brazil-based petrochemical company is interviewed by host Dr. Marsha Ershaghi Hames. Henry started his career as a chemical engineer, and quickly moved into technical sales, program management, and then compliance. 

With experience in large and relatively small global companies, Henry heads up many initiatives for Braskem, not only in the U.S. under a compliance monitorship, but also globally on the risk management and anti-corruption front. Henry explains the importance of getting all business owners on board with policies, leading by example, and walking the tightrope between disciplined control and bureaucracy. 



Headshot of guest, Joe Henry

Joe Henry is the US Compliance Officer for Braskem, a multi-national Chemicals and Plastics company headquartered in Sao Paulo, Brazil.  He leads the Ethics, Compliance and Risk Management efforts for Braskem’s US operations including commercial, manufacturing, logistics, management and Innovation and Technology (R&D) functions.

Prior to joining Braskem in 2017, Joe was a Compliance Director at GSK, a global pharmaceutical company, and worked in various ethics and compliance roles since 2003.  Investigations oversight, Compliance Operations, Methodology development, process assessment and improvement, policy and procedure management and managing government oversight programs were some of the responsibilities he successfully fulfilled while at GSK.  Prior to his GSK Compliance roles, Joe worked at SmithKline Beecham as an Information Technology Project Director and with IBM Sales, Technical Support and Product Development. 

Joe earned a B.S. in Chemical Engineering from Carnegie-Mellon University and a MBA from Saint Joseph’s University.  He also earned his certification as a Leading Professional in Ethics and Compliance from the Ethics and Compliance Initiative (ECI).



  • [1:19] Henry shares his career path from engineering into ethics and compliance, and explains a bit about Braskem as an organization. 
  • [3:07] He may be U.S. compliance officer, but Henry talks about the need to have a broad global focus in his role. 
  • [4:06] In moving to a smaller company, he talks about building the business case for an ethics and compliance strategy. 
  • [5:51] How is he leading decision-making on the ground, locally? 
  • [7:34] How has he integrated ethics and compliance into the business? 
  • [8:23] What is his current reporting structure? What does he think is ideal? 
  • [11:23] What is his approach to scale training? 
  • [13:19] How does he bring shop-floor employees into his training strategy? 
  • [14:54] Over the next three to five years, what priorities does he forecast in the ethics and compliance space? 

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