Risk Management Symposium

Emerging Issues in Cybersecurity, Insurance, Tax, Trade and Crisis Management

The Risk Management Symposium will bring together a broad partnership of experts, current and former officials, multi-disciplinary service providers and USC faculty discuss emerging issues in risk management. 

Recognized experts in the areas of insurance, cybersecurity, taxation, trade and crisis management will discuss best practices in risk management. Current and former officials will assess the current direction of policy at the local and federal level. Faculty from USC, a leading risk management thought leader, will provide an academic perspective on these areas. 

USC Leventhal School of Accounting is registered with the National Association of State Board of Accountancy (NASBA) as a sponsor of continuing professional education on the National Registry of CPE Sponsors. State Boards of Accountancy have final authority on the acceptance of individual courses for CPE credit. Complaints or concerns regarding registered sponsors may be addressed to the National Registry of CPE Sponsors, 150 Fourth Avenue North, Suite 700, Nashville, TN, 37219-2417. Web site:

Continuing Professional Education Credit

This program is designed to qualify for 8.5 hours of CPE credit. Letters of attendance will be available upon written request only. Registrants wanting to receive a certificate must submit a completed CPE credit form at the conclusion of the conference.

If you have any questions, please reach out to 

To register, please use code "RISK50" for discounted rate of $198. 




USC CBIZ Risk Management Symposium Agenda Flyer


Symposium Speakers

Marissa Aho

Marissa Aho

Chief Resilience Officer, Mayor’s Office of Resilience, Los Angeles

Marissa Aho, AICP, serves as Los Angeles’ first Chief Resilience Officer in the Office of Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti, where she leads city-wide resiliency efforts, including those found in the Mayor’s Resilience By Design report, Sustainable City pLAn, and Resilient Los Angeles strategy, which was released March 2018 as part of the 100 Resilient Cities program pioneered by the Rockefeller Foundation. Marissa has 17 years of policy, planning, project management, and community engagement experience in the public, private, and nonprofit sectors where she worked with interdisciplinary teams to find creative solutions to complex problems.

Prior to joining the Mayor’s Office, Marissa held senior positions at two Los Angeles planning and land use consulting firms. She has a B.A. in Communications, Legal Institutions, Economics, and Government/Political Science from American University and a Master of Planning from the University of Southern California Price School of Public Policy. She is an active member of the American Planning Association serving as the American Institute of Certified Planners Commissioner for Region IV. She is an advisor to the Dr. Lucy Jones Center for Science and Society and an adjunct instructor at the USC Price School of Public Policy, where she teaches a graduate urban planning studio on resilience.



Stevan Bernard

Stevan Bernard 

Founder and Administrator, Bernard Global, LLC

Former Executive Vice President, Global Protection Services, Sony Pictures Entertainment

Steve Bernard’s diverse career has spanned over 50 years, working and living in over 50 countries and serving in leading roles in both government and the private sector. On July 1, 2018, he founded and launched Bernard Global, LLC. Their scope of services includes: advising senior management on all facets of global protection services; an emphasis on cybersecurity; creating and conducting awareness programs; executive recruiting; partnering with the FBI and Department of State to enhance awareness and build trust. Over the past 17 years, Steve led Sony Pictures global protection services with responsibility for the Chief Security Officer/Chief Information Security Officer function, investigations, and forensics, physical security, business continuity planning, environment, medical, major events and protection, employee health and safety. 

Prior to this, he worked in high-tech, energy and law enforcement. His tour in the U.S. Army included a year in Vietnam where he was awarded the Bronze Star. He is a Certified Fraud Examiner, has a B.S. in Criminal Justice and an A.A. in Psychology and is a graduate of the FBI National Academy



Ward Ching

Ward Ching 

Adjunct Professor, USC Leventhal School of Accounting

Managing Director, Aon

Ward Ching is Managing Director – Western Region, Global Risk Consulting, Aon. He is primarily responsible for Captive and Insurance Management Services, Domicile Management, and supports a variety of Aon Management Consulting Services to clients. Ward is also part of Aon’s Alternative Risk Finance Practice and Aon’s Multinational Client Council, servicing Aon’s largest international client base.

Prior to joining Aon, Ward was Vice President, Risk Management Operations at Safeway Inc. His responsibilities included Enterprise Risk Management, Integrated Risk Finance, Hazard Loss Control, Environmental Compliance, Property Risk Control/Engineering and a variety of retail, distribution, and manufacturing risk management initiatives, including Safeway’s Culture of Safety. Prior to joining Safeway, he was a Principal at Towers Perrin and a Managing Director at Marsh.

In 2018, he is teaching Introduction to Risk Management and Insurance as Adjunct Professor at the University of Southern California Leventhal School of Accounting. Ward completed undergraduate and graduate degrees, International Relations and Economics, at the University of Southern California. Ward is the 2018 Risk & Insurance Management Society Harry & Dorothy Goodell Award, RIMS’ highest professional honor that recognizes one person yearly who is furthering the goals of risk management and RIMS through outstanding achievement, research and professional contribution.



Will Collie

Will Collie 

General Manager, Edelman, Southern California

Will Collie is Head of Edelman’s Southern Californian business and has led operations since July 2017. He is an integrated communications strategist with a specialty in health and wellness marketing and is known for guiding clients and teams to innovate their communications and marketing strategy in a way that reflects the constantly changing way that consumers engage with brands. While he now resides in Los Angeles, Will was previously based in Chicago, where he was head of Edelman Chicago’s Health business. During that time, he also sat on the Board of Directors for the Chicago health technology incubator MATTER where he worked with industry leaders as well as start-up entrepreneurs and innovators to build mutual, sustainable partnerships that bolster the junction of health and technology.

Since originally joining Edelman’s Australian business in 2012, Will has led the acquisition, development, and execution of award-winning communications and marketing programs for clients including Novartis Consumer Healthcare, Reckitt Benckiser, Kimberly Clark, Genzyme, Pasteur, and Allergan. In 2014, Will was named across all industry sectors as the Public Relations and Advertising Industry Public Relations Professional of the Year.

Before joining Edelman, Will served as senior manager of external affairs for global pharmaceutical company Sanofi where he notably was responsible for the development of the region’s first digital marketing work stream. Previously, he worked for Weber Shandwick’s Australian Health business as well as the Department of Health Services in the United Kingdom. Will received a Bachelor of Arts degree from the Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology and completed further communications and health policy studies at Sydney University and Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy in Singapore. 


Fred Cook

Fred Cook

Director, USC Center for Public Relations 

Chief Executive Officer, Golin

Fred Cook has worked at Golin for over 30 years. He started as an account supervisor in the Los Angeles office and moved to Chicago 15 years ago to become Golin’s third CEO. Fred credits the company culture for his long tenure with the firm.

During his time with Golin, Fred has had the privilege to work with a variety of high-profile CEOs, including Herb Kelleher, Jeff Bezos, and Steve Jobs. He has also managed a wide scope of crises for his clients, including airline crashes, product recalls, and sexual harassment.

Fred is proud of the firm’s accomplishments, but he is even more excited about the future. The world is experiencing profound changes in demographics, globalization, multiculturalism, and technology which are impacting the way people communicate with each other. To stay ahead of their changes, five years ago, Golin completely redesigned the agency by adopting a proprietary business model called g4, to deliver deeper insights, bigger ideas, and broader engagement to their clients. Since that time, Golin has been named ‘Agency of the Year’ more than a dozen times.

In 2014, Fred published Improvise Unorthodox Career Advice from an Unlikely CEO, which shares the wisdom he gained as a cabin boy on a Norwegian tanker, doorman at a 5-star hotel, and chauffeur for drunks. In 2015, after speaking on college campuses around the world, Fred accepted an additional position with the University of Southern California as the Director of the USC Center for Public Relations at the Annenberg School whose mission is to shape the future of public relations and those who will lead it - through research, education, and thought leadership.



Andrea Davis

Andrea Davis

Director, Global Crisis Management and Business Continuity, The Walt Disney Company

Andrea Davis started humbly: college as a single teen mother and waitressing graveyard shifts to make ends meet. Those challenges fostered her drive to succeed and a desire to help others in crisis. Now, she is the Director of Global Crisis Management and Business Continuity for The Walt Disney Company. There, Andrea leads an enterprise-wide department responsible for developing and implementing culturally-relevant emergency management training programs, exercises, crisis and family assistance operations, and employee preparedness initiatives across the globe.    

Prior to Disney, she served as the External Affairs Director for FEMA’s Louisiana Recovery Office. There, Andrea oversaw all media, intergovernmental and congressional activities for one of the U.S.’ largest disaster recovery efforts, with a total recovery portfolio of over $25 billion.


John Forry

John I. Forry 

Managing Director, CBIZ MHM LLC

John I. Forry is Managing Director in International Taxation and Infrastructure Advisory at CBIZ MHM, LLC. He is also a University Professor in international finance, investment, and taxation at U.S., Asian, European and Latin American law and business schools. John has served on the Advisory Group to the U.S. Commissioner of Internal Revenue and on numerous professional organization committees and projects. He has authored or co-authored six books and approximately 50 articles on international finance, investment, and taxation. He is a graduate of Amherst College and Harvard Law School.




Ron Galperin

Ron Galperin

Los Angeles City Controller

Los Angeles City Controller Ron Galperin serves as the elected watchdog for L.A.’s taxpayers. He oversees more than 160 employees conducting independent audits, managing the City’s payroll and disbursements, preparing reports on the City’s finances, pursuing waste and fraud, providing information about the City’s finances and operations online, and focusing on modernization, management and metrics. Ron launched ControlPanel.LA, an open data portal featuring the City’s checkbook, details on the goods and services the City buys, assets and liabilities, employee compensation, operating indicators and more. Under Ron’s leadership, the Controller’s office has issued audits focused on improving the efficiency and accountability of City government and on delivering quality City services. Ron brings more than 20 years of experience as a transactional and litigation attorney and small business owner. He received his J.D. from Loyola Law School in Los Angeles and his undergraduate degree from Washington University in St. Louis.



Robert Gellman

Robert Gellman

Managing Director, CBIZ MHM LLC

With more than 30 years of tax and financial advisory experience, Bob Gellman helps a broad range of privately held clients and high net worth individuals develop tax and financial strategies consistent with their financial goals. Bob has authored a book and workshop on the subject entitled: Seven Keys to Unlocking the Door to Your Dreams: Exit Strategies For Business Owners.

Mr. Gellman’s practice focuses on exit strategy and succession planning, longer term tax and financial strategies, personal CFO/trusted advisor services, and not-for-profit organization taxation and governance.

Tax incentives have long been an area of accomplishment. In 1992 Bob began developing strategies that facilitate U.S. exporters with lucrative tax strategies. Tax credits from R&D to Enterprise Zones have developed millions of dollars in savings. Since 2011, Bob has assisted clients in savings millions of tax dollars with energy efficient building incentives.

Bob has a Master Degree in Taxation from San Diego State University, Bachelor Degrees in Accounting and Finance from the University of Southern California, and the Certificate in International Business from the University of San Diego. He is an AICPA-accredited Personal Financial Specialist and a member of the CBIZ Individual Wealth Planning and Not-For-Profit National Technical Committees.

Bob continues to share his years of experience through participation on client company advisory boards.



Joseph Greenfield

Joseph S. Greenfield, Associate Professor of Information Technology Practice, USC Viterbi School of Engineering

Joseph Greenfield is an Associate Professor of Information Technology Practice with domain expertise in both Computer Security and Digital Forensics. In 2006 he joined the Viterbi School's Information Technology Program as a lecturer. While teaching at USC, he has developed ten courses in the fields of information security and digital forensics in addition to building two academic minors: Applied Computer Security and Digital Forensics. His professional and academic research lie in the realm of BitTorrent forensics, specialized server acquisitions, and non-standard information storage containers. Joe's efforts were instrumental in establishing an academic alliance with the United States Secret Service and the Los Angeles Electronic Crimes Task Force. His students have graduated and pursued careers in law enforcement and private consulting companies.

He holds both a Bachelor's Degree in Computer Engineering and a Masters Degree in Computer Science from the University of Southern California, in addition to being an EnCase Certified Examiner (EnCE). He is a frequent presenter to the Los Angeles Electronic Crimes Task Force, the Information Systems Security Association and other industry groups. He is currently pursuing his Ph. D. in Computer Science with a concentration in Digital Forensics at the University of Rhode Island.

In addition to being a full-time faculty member at USC, Joe works professionally with the Los Angeles computer forensics firm Maryman & Associates.



Seth Hedrington

Seth Hedrington 

Senior Vice President & General Manager - National Insurance Casualty & Middle Market, Liberty Mutual

Seth Hedrington is a Senior Vice President & General Manager for Liberty Mutual Insurance, responsible for the large and mid-sized commercial insurance operations in the West. In his fifteen years with Liberty Mutual, Seth has been awarded the highest individual honor in the company for his work in creating two different underwriting systems, and in 2011, he became one of the youngest vice presidents in the organization. As an industry voice in emerging risks, Seth has been interviewed by various insurance publications, including Property Casualty 360 for his insights on technology’s influence in changing the landscape of risk management. A Wisconsin native, Seth graduated with honors from the University of Wisconsin in Finance and Risk Management. Seth is an avid movie fan and a Wisconsin sports junkie. He has produced two feature-length films and would probably not be here tonight if the Green Bay Packers were playing the Thursday Night Football game. Seth lives in Southern California with his wife, Lisa, who shares his passion for traveling the world and does her best to put up with his passion for sports. 



William Holder

William Holder

Dean, USC Leventhal School of Accounting

DBA, MAcc, University of Oklahoma; BS, Oklahoma State University

William Holder is an expert on financial accounting and reporting, and auditing. His research has been published in The Journal of Accountancy, The Accounting Review, the Financial Executive, and The CPA Journal. He is a recipient of the Gold Medal Distinguished Achievement in Accounting Education Award.

Professor Holder served as a member of the American Institute of CPAs and chaired its audit committee.




Bret Johnsen

Bret Johnsen, Chief Financial Officer, SpaceX

Mr. Johnsen is Chief Financial Officer of SpaceX, overseeing the long-term financial development of the company, interfacing with the financial community, and managing the company's internal financial operations. Bret brings more than 20 years of financial leadership experience to SpaceX, mostly in high-profile, publicly traded companies. He has served in this role since joining SpaceX in 2011.

Previously, Bret spent nearly a decade at Broadcom Corporation, the world's largest manufacturer of semiconductors for wired and wireless communications, where he helped transform the company into a leading Fortune 500 technology company. Starting out as Controller for a number of business groups within Broadcom, he quickly rose through the ranks. He ultimately was named Vice President, Corporate Controller, and Principal Accounting Officer, overseeing an 80-member accounting organization in nine countries.

After leaving Broadcom, Bret served as Senior Vice President and Chief Financial Officer for Mindspeed Technologies. In 2010 he was named "CFO of the Year" by the Orange County Business Journal for bringing the chip maker through the recession by cutting costs, reworking debt, selling stock, and raising cash through patent sales. Bret holds a Bachelor of Science in accounting from the University of Southern California and a Master of Science in finance from San Diego State University. He is a certified public accountant in the State of California.


Ryan Knisley

Ryan Knisley

Partner, PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP

Ryan Knisley is a partner at PricewaterhouseCoopers and serves as the Southern California Cybersecurity leader. He has over 20 years of security leadership and consulting experience. Ryan works with clients to develop multi-channel protection initiatives that protect critical assets, while delivering direct cost savings and recaptured revenue.

Prior to PwC Ryan was Vice President of Security and Risk for Walmart’s eCommerce business. In this role, he led a team across 15 countries and was responsible for the protection of Walmart's critical assets. Some of the areas Ryan led were identity and access management, data security, security governance, training and awareness, and disaster recovery. Additionally, Ryan led risk management and designed, developed, and managed real-time and back-end risk and fraud models to predict and control risk associated with eCommerce operations. Earlier in his career, Ryan was a special agent with the U.S. Secret Service. In addition to his duties of protecting the President and Vice President, Ryan was an electronic crimes agent. In this role, he was responsible for criminal indictments related to large-scale data breaches.



Malcolm McNeil

Malcolm S. McNeil

Partner, Arent Fox LLP

Litigation and International Partner Malcolm S. McNeil is co-chair of the International Group at Arent Fox. Malcolm advises clients on international aspects of their businesses including international trade compliance with export and import regulations, export control and sanctions, Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA), and import (customs) matters. He helps large and small clients understand, comply with, and weather investigative storms associated with the complex U.S. laws and regulations governing U.S. exports and non-U.S. re-exports of goods, software, services, and technology. Malcolm’s practice includes direct collaboration with the Firm’s International Trade Group. These tasks include drafting license applications, ruling requests, protests, commodity jurisdiction and classification requests, advisory opinion requests, disclosures, and other submissions to various government agencies, including the Directorate of Defense Trade Control (DDTC), the Bureau of Industry and Security (BIS), Customs and Border Protection (CBP), the Census Bureau, and the Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC). Malcolm has experience in various industries, including aerospace, venture capital, defense, telecommunications, electronics, information technology, chemicals, and industrial manufacturing.



Brian Peck

Brian Peck

Director of the Transitional Law and Business Center, USC Gould School of Law

Brian Peck is currently the Director of the Transnational Law and Business Center at USC Gould School of Law; he also teaches international trade law & policy, global regulatory compliance, and international intellectual property law. In 2013, Brian was appointed by California Governor Edmund G. Brown, Jr. to serve as deputy director in charge of international affairs and business development for the Governor’s Office. In this capacity, Brian negotiated bilateral trade and investment MOUs between the state of California and Mexico, Japan, and Chinese subnational governments. Brian served as Senior Director for Intellectual Property and Director of Japanese Affairs at the U.S. Trade Representative. He was the lead negotiator for the intellectual property chapters in the U.S.-Colombia, U.S.-Peru, and U.S.-Panama Free Trade Agreements, and led the U.S. delegation at the WTO TRIPS Council meetings. Brian also led bilateral talks with several Asian countries at the WTO under the Doha Development Agenda negotiations to liberalize market access for trade in services. In his private practice, Brian advised multi-national clients on international trade law, regulatory and compliance matters, international government and policy affairs, and global intellectual property asset management. Brian received his law degree, cum laude, from the University of San Diego School of Law and his BA degree from UC Berkeley.



Judith Pinto

Judith Pinto

Managing Director, Promontory Financial Group, LLC

 Judith Pinto serves as a Managing Director at Promontory, advising financial institutions and other firms on information security, business risk and continuity planning, regulatory compliance, and operational readiness. Prior to joining Promontory, Judith spent nearly 10 years at Goldman Sachs, where she served, most recently, as global co-head of business information risk. She led a global team in the design and firmwide implementation of information-security strategies, conducted comprehensive risk assessments, and oversaw mitigation planning related to critical third parties, global systems, and software. Judith was a primary contact in Goldman’s dealings with U.S. and Mexican bank regulators on matters related to business continuity and information security, and she played a key role in application security, privilege management, and data privacy. She previously served as Goldman’s head of business continuity in the Americas. Earlier in her career, Judith spent more than 15 years in management consulting, delivering complex technology-management programs for large corporate and U.S. government clients. Judith holds a Bachelor of Science degree from West Virginia University.



Joshua Skule

Joshua Skule

Executive Assistant Director, Federal Bureau of Investigations, Headquarters

 Executive Assistant Director Joshua Skule serves as the strategic leader of the FBI’s Intelligence Branch, which also includes outreach and engagement with the FBI’s partners in the U.S. Intelligence Community, state and local law enforcement, and private industry. Mr. Skule began his FBI career as a Special Agent in the Chicago Field Office, where he investigated violent crimes and public corruption. He transferred to FBI Headquarters and shifted his focus to counterterrorism. Mr. Skule rose to the level of Assistant Director of the Directorate of Intelligence. In this position, he was responsible for the day-to-day operations and continued the evolution of the FBI’s Intelligence Program at Headquarters and in the field, language services, confidential human source validation, intelligence workforce development, and cross-programmatic strategic analysis. Mr. Skule is a 2018 recipient of the Presidential Rank Award and this year also marks his 20th anniversary with the FBI. He graduated from the U.S. Naval Academy with a bachelor’s degree in political science.



Joanna Wolf Photo

Joanna Woolf, Associate Director, Aon Risk Solutions

Joanna Woolf graduated from Durham University in 2012 with a BA Hons degree before joining Aon on the Graduate Development program. Following various rotational placements, which included North American Property and Professional Services, Joanna opted to specialize in North American Terrorism. In 2015 Joanna achieved her Advanced Diploma in Insurance Qualification (ACII).

As a senior member of the team, Joanna provides program design, placement, and ongoing advisory services to a portfolio of multinational clients across a variety of industry sectors. During 2017 Joanna worked closely with a panel of insurers in the development of non-standardized coverages which are now available in the terrorism market, whilst project managing the development of Aon’s Alpha Terrorism Facility, which has benefited over 700 clients across the globe.





Wendy Wu Photo


Wendy T. Wu, Senior Managing Director, Stroz Friedberg


Wendy T. Wu is a Senior Managing Director in Stroz Friedberg’s Los Angeles office, where she directs engagements involving cybercrime and data breach response, information security, intellectual property protection, and electronic discovery. Previously, Ms. Wu was an Assistant United States Attorney (AUSA) in the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Central District of California, where she most recently served in the Cyber and Intellectual Property Crimes Section, National Security Division. As an AUSA, Ms. Wu conducted and supervised investigations and prosecutions of computer intrusions, extortionate denial of service attacks, computer and Internet fraud, theft of trade secrets, criminal copyright infringement, cyber exploitation of victims, financial fraud, and other abuses involving the theft and use of personal identity.

Before joining the U.S. Attorney’s Office, Ms. Wu was a litigation attorney at Proskauer Rose, where her practice focused on white collar criminal defense and compliance matters, with an emphasis in the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act.


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Leventhal School of Accounting
ACC 101, mc 0441
3660 Trousdale Parkway
University of Southern California
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