Introduction to Cynthia Cooper
By John T. Rigsby
Good afternoon. We are here today to honor Cynthia Cooper. Professor Richard Vangerschmeer of the University of Rhode Island and I nominated Cynthia for the Accounting Exemplar Award to recognize her achievements in promoting professionalism and ethics in the accounting profession.
Cynthia Cooper is a Vice-President of Internal Audit at MCI, where she has worked for 10 years. She established their Internal Audit Department in 1994. Previously she worked in public accounting in Atlanta, GA for PricewaterhouseCoopers and Deloitte & Touche.
She received her undergraduate accounting degree from Mississippi State University and a masters in accountancy from the University of Alabama. She is a CPA, Certified Information Systems Auditor, and a Certified Fraud Examiner.
Cynthia was named one of Time magazine's Persons of the Year in 2002 because she brought to the Board's attention at World Com a massive fraud that had been going on for several years. In a period of great distress for the accounting and auditing profession, when the independence of CPAs from their clients is being questioned, when the ability of the auditing profession to regulate itself is being taken away, Cynthia Cooper stands as a person of great personal and professional integrity who at significant personal sacrifice and risk took a stand for what she believed was right and stuck by her beliefs in the face of great pressure.
We as academics are educating the leaders of the accounting and auditing profession today. We need more such leaders as Cynthia Cooper who provides beacons of light in some dark days that the accounting and auditing profession are going through right now. Without people such as her, who are willing to make the difficult choices and face the great pressures, our ability to grow and develop into a stronger and better profession is greatly at risk.
Help me to welcome Cynthia Cooper.
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