Nicole Creola Kelly has worked at the Securities and Exchange Commission for a quarter-century in a variety of roles. Now, as head of the agency’s whistleblower award program, she is facing perhaps her biggest challenge: critics who say the program favors those with connections to the regulator.
Kelly faces the challenge of managing the increasing popularity of the whistleblower program with her office’s current staffing resources, industry participants said. At the same time, she is under pressure to address calls for transparency in the program’s processes and the need to protect the identities of whistleblowers.
“I’ve been here for 25 years. I’ve seen many chairs, and as a longtime civil servant…it sounds cliché but we call the balls and strikes,” Kelly, who goes by “Cree,” said in a recent interview. “At no point have I ever considered who the counsel is on a recommendation. It doesn’t factor into our analysis.”
‘Enforcement 40’ for 2020
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