'Although Dr. Adriana Sanford’s most recent situation is over twelve years old, it is a textbook case of why international whistleblower protection laws and regulations should protect attorneys with multi-jurisdictional practices.'
The World Will Listen
Panama City, Panama
Attorney and ND Criminal Law Professor Blakey is the nation's foremost authority on the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organization Act (RICO)
"Adriana is a very conscientious attorney."
President and CEO of Latin America Consumer & Industrial General Electric Company
"Following an abduction while on company business, international whistleblower Dr. Adriana Sanford has distinguished herself by educating executives, thousands of college students, and the public at large on global threats and the dangers of corporate corruption. The international television commentator appears regularly as a CNN analyst/contributor to over 49 million households in the United States and Latin America.
Dr. Sanford is frequently described as “an audience grabber” and as having “the unique ability to speak to students, captains of industry, and academicians all in the same audience." With fluency in four languages, she serves as a keynote to leading think tanks, non-profits, and multinationals in the U.S. and Latin America, including the keynote in Mexico City for one of the largest IT, telecom, technology and security conferences in Latin America for Spanish-speaking professionals specializing in audit, security, cyber ethics, cybersecurity, governance and IT risk. Last year, Dr. Sanford provided keynote addresses in Chile for Corporación de Estudios para Latinoamérica (CIEPLAN), which is one of Latin America's leading think tanks. Over the last decade, she has lectured at more than 130 industry conferences and fora and worked with a broad range of global organizations to foster responsibility within the private sector and encourage foundations of trust and integrity in foreign markets, including global entities such as Institute for Supply Management and Rotary International. Her one-day sessions and corporate training lectures through ISACA, ISSA, and RSA (among others) provide security, accounting, auditing, and legal professionals with CPE, ABA, and CLE credits.
Dr. Sanford provides high impact experiential courses featuring real-world encounters that demonstrate the complexities of open-ended situations and the severe consequences that may result from foreign jurisdiction non-compliance. Have you ever been on a path where no path you take is the correct path? As the former in-house counsel of a Fortune 50 company, Dr. Sanford warns that legal ethics rules vary in foreign countries and sometimes conflict with domestic rules, which places U.S. companies, executives, and in-house counsel in the legal and moral dilemma of deciding which laws and ethical rules to follow and which to break.
Dr. Sanford’s expertise is on global threats and laws at the international level, where possible outcomes for corporate non-compliance creates criminal liability and poses physical danger for executives and their in-house counsel in foreign territories.
Dr. Sanford’s extensive experience addressing international organized crime and linking it to corporate fraud, bribery clubs, and other forms of business malfeasance spans over a 20-year period, including an international drug cartel and an illegal scheme involving Russian loans that resulted in the arrest and 30-year imprisonment of her former employer’s CEO. Over the decades, she has handled multiple complex corruption and embezzlement cases in the United States and abroad.
When the pre-Snowden whistleblower later found herself in peril for uncovering illegal schemes that went far beyond taxes, phantom shipments, and trade-based money laundering, she diligently protected her team. For the last decade, Dr. Sanford has followed a path of teaching and educating others with regard to these difficult issues, global threats, and their consequences. Within the universe of corporate legal ethics, her actions have been viewed by the public as a badge-of-honor and a model to be studied...
Although Dr. Sanford’s most recent situation is slightly over a decade ago, it remains a textbook case as to why whistleblower protection laws and regulations should protect corporate in-house counsel in cases involving international criminal activity. After uncovering several illegal schemes that included U.S. senior executives’ involvement with, or knowledge of, improper conduct to circumvent U.S. sanctions in the Middle East, her life was in danger; while on company business overseas, she was repeatedly placed in harm’s way facing bad actors that proved to be corrupt, unethical, and extremely dangerous. Physical harm had already befallen at least one team member.
In the last ten years, Dr. Sanford has had numerous articles published that cover important and current aspects of global corporate ethics and compliance by the Institute for Supply Management (ISM) and the International Enforcement Law Reporter. With over 50,000 members in 100 countries, ISM is the largest institute in the world for supply chain leaders. They also adopted two of Dr. Sanford’s books (which she co-authored with Hewlett Packard’s Chief Technology Officer for Europe, Middle East, and Africa and other internationally recognized experts) on global threats commemorating ISM’s centennial anniversary. More recently, the privacy and cybersecurity expert co-authored a security book, Women in Security: Changing the Face of Technology and Innovation that is part of the Women in Science and Engineering book series.
Academically, Dr. Sanford has taught more than 7,300 graduate and undergraduate students in the United States and abroad, including Pepperdine University, Loyola Marymount University, Universidad de Talca, Arizona State University, and as a Georgetown Law Dean’s Visiting scholar. With decades of international experience and multiple law degrees from Georgetown Law and Notre Dame Law School, her two decades of practical legal knowledge in real-world settings on three continents sets her apart from other academics in her field.