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Q&A With Keith Henderson, the University’s New Chief Compliance Officer
Keith Henderson joined the University in 2020 as chief compliance officer within the Office of University Counsel. In his role, Henderson oversees all of the University’s compliance efforts, including the governance structure, compliance with all state and federal laws and regulations, training and education related to research compliance, export control, data security and privacy, HIPAA, Title IX, athletics, the Clery Act and human resources compliance, as well as responding to inquiries and complaints generated through state and federal agencies.
Here, Henderson talks more about his role and how all students, faculty and staff can get involved in our compliance efforts.
What attracted you to the role of becoming Syracuse’s new chief compliance officer?
I was drawn to the University because of the diversity of its academic and athletic programs, its reputation as an R1 research institution, the investment Syracuse makes in the success of its students and the great work we do with and for veterans.
How would you describe your position to someone who is unfamiliar with the role of chief compliance officer?
My job is to ensure that the University is complying with the laws, rules and regulations that affect its daily operations. In short, I work to make sure we are always striving to do the right thing.
What are you most excited to accomplish during your tenure here?
I am most excited about working to build an effective, supportive and responsive institutionwide compliance program.
What would you tell employees and students who want to help make Syracuse University a more compliant place?
Compliance is a shared responsibility. We all must act as stewards of this institution and actively work to ensure that we are compliant in our activities, jobs and roles at Syracuse.
Compliance touches on a lot of areas of the University and seems like a tremendous amount of day-to-day responsibility—how do you stay focused on the big picture?
I stay focused on ensuring that we are working toward integrating compliance into the fabric of our institution. Compliance should be a natural part of how we function. My overarching goal is to serve as a partner in compliance, working alongside faculty, staff and students to be successful as a collective.
What are some of your interests outside of work?
In my free time I enjoy watching football and basketball games, going on Netflix binges, international travel, home improvement projects, working on health disparity issues and just having fun with my family.
Prior to joining the Syracuse University family, Henderson managed global compliance and ethics programs for the Morehouse School of Medicine, Capital Access Networks, Inc., and Turner Broadcasting Systems, Inc. Prior to that, he practiced law as both in-house counsel and private practice.
Henderson holds a master of laws in taxation from Georgetown University Law Center, a juris doctor from Texas Southern University School of Law and a bachelor of arts from Howard University. He has presented at panels on compliance at Association of Corporate Counsel (ACC) conferences and meetings, the American Bar Association and the Atlanta Compliance and Ethics Roundtable. He also served in the ACC Compliance and Ethics Committee as chair; as vice chair of the ACC Health Law Committee; as a board of director and treasurer with the ACC Georgia Chapter; and on the board of the Atlanta Compliance and Ethics Roundtable. Henderson is admitted and licensed to practice law in Colorado, Pennsylvania and Washington, D.C.