Chief Executive Officer

Posted: Jan 22, 2014
Information Systems Audit and Control Association (ISACA) (HQ)

Rolling Meadows, Illinois

Position: Chief Executive Officer
Company: ISACA
Location: Rolling Meadows, Illinois
Reporting Relationship: The CEO reports to the International President and Board of Directors.
Website: http://www.isaca.org/


ISACA is the world’s largest organization for those engaged in audit, assurance, security, governance, compliance and privacy related to information and information systems. ISACA was founded in 1967, when a small, but visionary, group of professionals realized that their work auditing controls for computer systems was becoming increasingly vital to the overall operational success of their enterprises. Together they discussed the benefits of developing a centralized source of information and guidance for their growing field. In 1969, the group formalized and incorporated as the EDP Auditors Association (EDPAA). The organization’s name was changed to Information Systems Audit and Control Association (ISACA) in 1994. ISACA now goes by its acronym only, to reflect the broadening range of professionals it serves.

Now, with more than 110,000 members in 180 countries, ISACA is a leading global provider of knowledge, certifications, community, advocacy and education on information systems (IS) assurance and security, governance and management of enterprise IT (GEIT), and IT-related risk and compliance. The nonprofit, independent ISACA hosts international conferences, publishes the ISACA Journal, and develops international IS auditing and control standards, which help its constituents ensure trust in, and value from, information systems. It also advances and attests IT and business skills and knowledge through the globally respected Certified Information Systems Auditor (CISA), Certified Information Security Manager (CISM), Certified in the Governance of Enterprise IT (CGEIT) and Certified in Risk and Information Systems Control (CRISC) designations.  ISACA continually updates and expands the practical guidance and product family based on the COBIT framework. This helps IT professionals and enterprise leaders fulfill their IT governance and management responsibilities, particularly in the areas of assurance, security, risk and control, and delivery of value to the business.

Affiliated with ISACA, the IT Governance Institute (ITGI) was created in 1998 as a nonprofit, separate entity for research. In the years since their inception, ISACA and ITGI have been drivers of extensive innovation and, as a result, have become pace-setting global organizations for IT governance, security, risk, control and assurance professionals.


The Chief Executive Officer will oversee a complex global organization consisting of members and other stakeholders in 180 countries.  S/he must be an outstanding strategic leader, advocate, spokesperson, with a strong sensitivity and appreciation for the needs of diverse cultures across the globe.

S/he will lead the strategic direction and delivery of key priorities of this $43 million organization, its approximately 110 staff and over 200 chapters worldwide.  S/he will support the Board in the strategic planning process; ensure appropriate levels of funding; and build and retain a highly motivated, talented workforce to ensure achievement of the organization’s mission globally.

ISACA is in the process of implementing an ambitious strategy that will generate significant transformation through growth in scope, members, other constituents and services over the next 8 years. The CEO of ISACA will work with the Board of Directors, other volunteer leaders, industry colleagues and staff to drive achievement of the association’s agreed strategic objectives, as captured in the current strategic plan.

This individual must possess a global mindset and a track record of irreproachable ethical conduct.  S/he must be able to represent the organization ably to both internal and external audiences, inspire and motivate staff, and manage the consistent change that results from the annual turnover in volunteer governance. Ultimately, s/he is accountable for the success, sustainability and overall health of the organization.

Specific Responsibilities:

  • Cultivate a strong, transparent and collaborative working relationship with the board, volunteers and executive staff to develop, refine and implement ISACA's strategic plan while ensuring that the budget, staff, organizational culture and priorities are aligned with ISACA’s core mission and strategies
  • Ensure that effective decision-making, governance and performance monitoring processes (against stated milestones and goals) are in place that will enable ISACA to achieve its long- and short-term goals and objectives
  • Working with appropriate executive staff, develop and/or maintain strategic alliances and relationships with key global partners in government, business, and other professional associations, and ensure that ISACA, its mission, programs and services are consistently presented in a strong, positive way to all relevant stakeholders
  • Continue to build, maintain and sustain organizational culture, values and behaviors that respect ISACA’s strong history while fostering an innovative, entrepreneurial and creative spirit at all levels
  • Provide general oversight of all of ISACA’s activities so as to assure a smoothly functioning, efficient organization that recruits, retains, supports and develops quality staff and volunteers
  • ISACA traditionally calls on its volunteer leaders (who are its subject matter experts) to be the “face” of ISACA. However, there may be times at which the CEO is expected to serve as an external spokesperson for the association.  This includes representing ISACA at global forums, speaking at key conferences, appearing and/or presenting at ISACA events, and leading or serving on various external committees and/or task forces on issues of importance to ISACA, which may include international travel.  This implies a degree of understanding of ISACA’s products, core body of knowledge and professional issues, or an ability/willingness to acquire that understanding.

Strategy Development and Execution—The CEO is expected to:

  • Use quantitative and qualitative metrics to assess and evaluate results
  • Demonstrate strong business acumen and use of evidence-based decisions to influence strategy development, risk management  and execution
  • Demonstrate ability to collaborate and partner with volunteer and executive staff teams to set and manage short- and long-term priorities

Communication/Outreach—The CEO is expected to:

  • Appropriately project the ISACA mission and vision to a wide variety of audiences
  • Demonstrate a proven ability to translate mission into concrete action items
  • Communicate crisply and directly in person and in writing, employing the necessary tact, diplomacy and respect, and encourage open communication
  • When appropriate, act as a spokesperson and represent ISACA at meetings and conferences

Organizational Leadership and Development—The CEO is expected to:

  • Demonstrate success in recruiting, retaining and motivating key employees, and leading a large, diverse employee base
  • Ensure that ISACA’s organizational culture  respects diverse attributes and views; demands ethical behavior; supports collaboration; and fosters trust among volunteers, staff and organizations with which ISACA engages 
  • Be willing to reward or censure performance as appropriate

Volunteer Engagement—The CEO is expected to:

  • Work successfully with a diverse, dispersed and highly engaged volunteer base, and ensure appropriate staff support for same
  • Interact tactfully and respectfully with volunteers and ensure a compelling value proposition for both volunteers and ISACA
  • Understand and appreciate the value of individual contributions and the collective impact of those contributions on achieving ISACA’s volunteer-led mission


  • Lead the development and continuity of a high performance management team.
  • Lead the organization’s alignment to and execution of the strategic plan (S-22).
  • Communicate a clear vision of ISACA’s current mission and future vision throughout the organization in such a way that sustains the interest and active engagement of existing and prospective constituent groups.


The successful candidate will have held a prior executive leadership position in an international professional organization (either not-for-profit or for-profit) at the CEO, COO, or other senior level executive position with leadership for a budget and staff of similar scope and size as ISACA.

 The successful candidate will have a proven performance record of the following, or similar strategic leadership experience:

  • Leading, engaging, inspiring and representing global members and constituents, volunteers and a professional staff
  • Driving transformation and innovation, from conception through implementation
  • Working with people from, and on issues affecting, diverse cultures, languages and geographies
  • Meeting and exceeding targets and objectives
  • Have proven success driving desirable results that balance quality, quantity, financial impact and organizational mission
  • Extracting value from partnerships with other professional or membership associations, as well as public and private sector entities
  • Appreciation for business opportunities enabled by information technology
  • Strategic planning and implementation
  • Outstanding communications and interpersonal skills, including the ability to relate well to a wide range of constituencies.  S/he should be able to clearly articulate the message and command the respect of his/her audience.
  • Building and leading a highly professional, knowledgeable and skilled senior team, in a performance driven and results-oriented environment.  Track record of identifying and developing talent and succession planning

Korn/Ferry shall provide equal employment opportunity to all qualified candidates, and will refer candidates without regard to race, color, religion, national origin, sex, age, disability, veteran status or any other legally protected basis. Korn/Ferry shall comply with all applicable laws, rules and regulations in the performance of duties pursuant to this Agreement, including but not limited to, Title VII of the Civil Rights Act, the Age Discrimination in Employment Act, the Americans with Disabilities Act, and state and local anti-discrimination laws to the extent applicable.

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