LRN Perspectives

The Next Generation of Ethics and Compliance: Ana-Paola Capaldo de Aoun Builds Bridges to Get Buy-in

December 10, 2019 LRN Corporation

“Being a company that has a purpose beyond profit is important not just from a values and culture perspective, but as a recruiting tool"

 – Ana-Paula Capaldo de Aoun

This episode of the Principled podcast is hosted by Marsha Ershaghi Hames, who is interviewing Ana-Paula (AP) Capaldo de Aoun, the Director of Ethics and Compliance for Tech Data Corporation. Ana-Paola has been passionate about the field of compliance since she was an undergraduate student. She went on to law school and focused her research on the field, while building up a network of like-minded professionals. She has worked in compliance for her entire career and has been proactive in seeking out mentors she could learn from. Her focus now is on creating programs that resonate across cultures and locations, working collaboratively with other business units and ensuring the business has a purpose beyond profit.


  • [1:03] How did the Office of Compliance find you?
  • [1:07] During undergrad, Ana-Paola was involved in a program with the US Department of State, developing training for law enforcement officers on how to engage with foreign diplomats. She became very interested in compliance and directed her research in law school around the topic, which also naturally led to networking with attorneys practicing in compliance. She started working at a boutique firm that specialized in compliance right after graduation.
  • [3:57] How much did mentorship shape how you approached compliance?
  • [4:11] Mentorship was critical to Ana-Paola’s career, because when she started out compliance wasn’t something that many lawyers were talking about. She was very proactive in reaching out to experts in the field, in order to have mentors and bosses that were previously Chiefs of Compliance or Professors.
  • [6:24] How do you challenge some of the defensive ways that programs were set up in order to chart the next course?
  • [6:38] Ana-Paola feels an enormous responsibility to compliance as someone who has come from a different country and worked in different industries. Compliance is now focused on resonance and how it affects the work culture, as the workforce continues to change. She’s also very in touch with how you reach people in an organization, which is much more about marketing and creative than it is a legal compliance analysis.
  • [9:00] How do you scale policy and principles to a local level, especially outside the US?
  • [9:22] The first thing is understanding the business by getting out there and seeing first-hand what will resonate with your people across cultures and countries. Engaging with marketing in the business is also a great way to understand how they are reaching customers in different locales. In addition, engaging and collaborating with other business units and understanding the best medium for training in each locale are key.
  • [12:55] What are some of the areas you think that Compliance and Ethics Officers need to keep an eye on looking forward?
  • [13:22] Data analytics is critical, starting with cleaning up data and having it in a format that is digestible and can provide valuable insight for the business. Automation and artificial intelligence are also going to be important, not to eliminate entire functions but to move professionals onto high-value activities. Being a business with a purpose beyond profits will also be important for recruiting the next generation of employees.

    Don’t miss our next episode! Be sure to subscribe to Principled on Spotify, Apple Podcasts, Google Play or wherever you listen to podcasts.
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