Nicole Sandford is a seasoned professional and qualified audit committee financial expert with extensive experience advising complex organizations in their most challenging times. Over nearly three decades at Deloitte, Nicole was known for a strategic mindset and uncommon leadership. She was selected for roles with increasing responsibility, rising to lead the firm’s nearly $600 million regulatory and operational risk practice during a period of strategic transformation. She integrated more than 2,000 professionals in the U.S. and India and completed an acquisition of Huron Consulting’s life sciences practice to create the largest regulatory advisory practice in the industry.
Nicole’s client work at Deloitte focused on governance, crisis response and regulatory risk management and remediation across sectors. She has helped the boards of 80+ public and private companies (including several of the largest global banks) to transform governance, risk and compliance programs. She also served as the audit partner for numerous public companies, developing experience in M&A, securities offerings, LBOs and other complex transactions. In 2020, Nicole joined the Ellig Group as its Executive Vice President and Global Board Services Leader. In this role, she advises boards and senior executives on matters related to governance, particularly those related to board competency and diversity.
As one of its most knowledgeable experts in corporate governance, Nicole wrote Deloitte’s response to the governance aspects of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act and was the architect of its award-winning Center for Board Effectiveness. She authored many of Deloitte’s most important governance publications and has been featured or quoted in most major board-level publications. Nicole has extensive relationships with directors, institutional investors, proxy advisory firms, and other governance thought leaders in the U.S. and globally.
Nicole is a frequent speaker on governance, risk and culture, as well as leading practices for boards and board committees. She has spoken at major universities around the country, including Stanford, Yale and Columbia, as well as professional organizations such as the American Bar Association, NACD, The Society for Corporate Governance, The International Corporate Governance Network (ICGN), Compliance Week, the Retail Industry Leaders Association (RILA), and The Conference Board. Nicole has received numerous awards including Millstein Center’s “Rising Stars of Corporate Governance” and The International Alliance for Women’s “World of Vision” Award.
Nicole is the Chairman of the Board for Girl Scouts of Connecticut, Board member of the Stamford Public Education Foundation and Emeritus Member of the Advisory Board of the John L. Weinberg Center for Corporate Governance at the University of Delaware. She has served as the audit committee chair for the Society for Corporate Governance and The Global Partnership for Afghanistan.
Nicole is passionate about helping people with cancer as a volunteer driver for the American Cancer Society’s “Road to Recovery” program and as the patient advocate/representative on the Greenwich Hospital Breast Center Accreditation Leadership Committee.