Longtime IIA CEO Richard Chambers Announces Plans to Step Down
(July 23, 2020) — The IIA announced today that Richard F. Chambers, President and Chief Executive Officer since 2009, plans to step down from his post effective March 31, 2021. Chambers said his decision followed many months of reflection on his personal priorities and what would be best for the organization.
“Serving as CEO of The IIA has been the honor of a lifetime,” Chambers said, “but we are at a critical juncture. The association industry in general, and The IIA in particular, will likely look quite different post-COVID-19. The IIA has a strong foundation and outstanding leadership, so I am confident a new CEO with fresh ideas and perspectives will ably execute bold, decisive, and agile strategies to address this new frontier.”
The IIA plans to immediately begin a global search for a new CEO. Chambers, CIA, QIAL, CGAP, CCSA, CRMA, is The IIA’s ninth chief executive, appointed in January 2009. Only the organization’s first leader, Bradford Cadmus, has served longer, from 1947–62.
Respected the world over as a champion for the internal audit profession, Chambers brought decades of internal audit and management experience with him when he joined The IIA as president and CEO during the Great Recession. Adjusting course, Chambers led The IIA to record membership, certifications, and financial performance, with revenue last year of more than $65 million and members in nearly 200 countries and territories. Amid this year’s coronavirus pandemic and government-imposed lockdowns, Chambers and his team have effectively steered The IIA into innovative ways of interacting with and serving its members around the globe, including the addition or expansion of virtual conferences, training, and certification exams. IIA Chapters and Affiliates around the world have also elevated online offerings to ensure the health and safety of members.
“Richard has brought us through an incredible period of progress and stunning growth,” said The IIA’s newly elected Global Chair, Jenitha John, CIA, QIAL. “His passion and enthusiasm for internal auditing, and his global voice advocating for the value and importance of the profession, has elevated The IIA to incredible heights. While he will be missed, I am certain he will leave The IIA firmly planted for a great future and will ensure a smooth transition for his successor.”
Added 2019–20 IIA Global Chairman J. Michael Joyce Jr., CIA, CRMA. “This is a bittersweet time. Richard has led our organization to great triumphs and through challenging times. His contributions to the profession will leave a remarkable and lasting legacy. It is thanks to his extraordinary leadership that The IIA can move confidently into a ‘new’ tomorrow.”
During Richard’s tenure as president and CEO, The IIA has reached record membership, certifications, and conferences attendance. He also has presided over the launch of several major initiatives, including:
- Certification in Risk Management Assurance (CRMA) and the Qualification in Internal Audit Leadership (QIAL).
- Audit Executive Center, the American Center for Government Auditing (now the Public Sector Audit Center), the Financial Services Audit Center, and the Environmental, Health & Safety Audit Center.
- Pulse of Internal Audit, OnRisk, the American Corporate Governance Index, Audit Channel, and Internal Auditor Online.
- Establishment of a full-time presence in Washington, D.C.
Ranked by Accounting Today as one of the “Most Influential People” shaping the accounting profession and by the National Association of Corporate Directors (NACD) as one of the most influential leaders in corporate governance, Chambers’ 45-year career in internal audit has included serving as inspector general of the Tennessee Valley Authority; deputy inspector general of the U.S. Postal Service; and director of the U.S. Army Worldwide Internal Review Organization at the Pentagon. Prior to becoming president and CEO of The IIA, he was national practice leader in Internal Audit Advisory Services at PwC and, before that, served as Vice President of what was The IIA’s Learning Center.
In addition to his widely read weekly blog “Chambers on the Profession” and a social media presence of about 30,000 followers, Chambers is the author of three award-winning books: Lessons Learned on the Audit Trail (2014), Trusted Advisors: Key Attributes of Outstanding Internal Auditors (2017), and The Speed of Risk: Lessons Learned on the Audit Trail, 2nd Edition, which was released in 2019. He is at work on his fourth book, also to be published by the Internal Audit Foundation, for release in early 2021.