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Compliance Officer

Geological Society of America
Position Description (posted 8 June 2018)

The Geological Society of America (GSA) (a non-profit organization) seeks a fulltime Compliance Officer to oversee a new project (term limitation: 3-year Corporate Compliance project). This position will function as an independent and objective body that reviews and evaluates external compliance issues/concerns within the organization’s members, authors & publishers, and collaborators. The position ensures GSA boards, councils, members and participants in GSA activities are in compliance with the rules and regulations of regulatory agencies, that the various GSA policies and procedures are being followed, and that behavior of GSA boards, councils, members and participants in GSA activities meets the GSA Professional Ethics and Code of Conduct.

This position exists as a channel of communication to receive and direct compliance issues to appropriate resources for investigation and resolution, and as a final internal resource with which concerned parties may communicate after other formal channels and resources have been exhausted. This position may also conduct investigations and recommend resolutions.

The Compliance Officer acts as staff to the Executive Director (ED) by monitoring and reporting results of the compliance/ethics efforts by providing guidance for the boards / councils on matters relating to compliance. The Compliance Officer, together with the ED, is authorized to implement all necessary actions to ensure achievement of the objectives of the project.


  • Develops, initiates, maintains, and revises policies and procedures for the Compliance Project and its related activities to prevent illegal, unethical, or improper conduct. Manages day-to-day operation of the Project.
  • Develops and periodically reviews and updates GSA Professional Ethics and Code of Conduct to ensure continuing currency and relevance in providing guidance to GSA boards, councils, members and participants in GSA activities.
  • Collaborates with other departments (e.g., Human Resources, Diversity, and Governance) to direct compliance issues to appropriate existing channels for investigation and resolution. Consults with the organization attorney as needed to resolve difficult legal compliance issues.
  • Responds to alleged violations of rules, regulations, policies, procedures, and Standards of Conduct by evaluating or recommending the initiation of investigative procedures. Develops and oversees a system for uniform handling of alleged violations.
  • Conducts investigations of complaints or allegations as required by Codes of Conduct.
  • Acts as an independent review and evaluation body to ensure that compliance issues/concerns in relation to member programs are being appropriately evaluated, investigated and resolved.
  • Monitors, and as necessary, coordinates compliance activities of member programs to remain abreast of the status of all compliance activities and to identify trends.
  • Identifies potential areas of compliance vulnerability and risk; develops/implements corrective action plans for resolution of problematic issues, and provides general guidance on how to avoid or deal with similar situations in the future.
  • Provides reports on a regular basis, and as directed or requested, to keep the ED informed of the operation and progress of compliance efforts.
  • Ensures proper reporting of violations or potential violations to duly authorized enforcement agencies as appropriate and/or required.
  • Establishes and provides direction and management of the Compliance Hotline for members.
  • Institutes and maintains an effective compliance communication program for the organization, including promoting (a) use of the Compliance Hotline; (b) heightened awareness of Standards of Conduct, and (c) understanding of new and existing compliance issues and related policies and procedures.
  • Develops an effective compliance training program, including appropriate introductory training for new members as well as ongoing training for all committee leadership and participants in GSA activities.
  • Monitors the performance of the Compliance Project and relates activities on a continuing basis, taking appropriate steps to improve its effectiveness.


  • Does not directly supervise others.

Job Qualifications

Knowledge, Skill and Ability

  • Bachelor’s degree required or Master’s degree preferred.
  • Certified Compliance & Ethics Professional (CCEP) a plus.
  • A minimum of 10 years’ experience in a non-profit organization, to include demonstrated leadership. Familiarity with operational, financial, quality assurance, and human resource procedures and regulations is a must.
  • Ability to make independent decisions and use sound judgment; ability to establish, track and meet deadlines.
  • Ability to communicate with members and other professionals in a business environment.
  • Excellent oral and written communication skills.
  • Professional behavior and appearance required.
  • Tactful, discreet, sound personal and business ethics.

Working Environment/Physical Activities

  • Standing and walking for long periods of time while on-site at meetings.
  • Travel to Annual Meeting for up to two weeks once each year; travel to assigned Section Meetings each year, and other travel as necessary.
  • Many deadlines and time constraints.

GSA offers a variety of benefits including medical/dental/vision, 403(b) matching, PTO.  Salary range for this position is $57,297-$80,215 depending upon experience.  Applications close 8 July 2018.

Please submit your cover letter and resume to