5 Questions for Ralph Haddad, Regional Head of Integrity (U.S.) and Nuclear Sector Integrity Officer, SNC-Lavalin.

Ralph Haddad

Every month, we bring you a profile on a leading ethics and compliance professional. This month, we would like to introduce you to Ralph Haddad.

At age 16, Ralph Haddad moved from Lebanon to Montreal, were he completed his college and university education in business administration, specializing in operations management.

He began his career at CAE Inc. as a project administrator. He then transferred to compliance, eventually becoming Global Compliance Leader. At SNC Lavalin, his current employer, he is responsible for overseeing integrity for the U.S. market and the nuclear sector.

1. What drew you to a career in ethics and compliance?

I grew up in a country plagued by corruption, so I saw the kind of impact it has on day-to-day life. I really wanted to pursue a career where I could make a difference in the fight against corruption. I feel strongly that individual businesses have an important role to play in matters of ethics to lead the way for other organizations.

2. Who or what has inspired you and influenced your career path?

When I first started working in ethics and compliance in 2014, I was fortunate to be mentored by the head of legal affairs at CAE. We worked together to build the program and establish a set of compliance best practices for the organization. He was a strong believer in the importance of personal values in a professional environment, and that had a big impact on my own mindset.

3. What do you think are key considerations in ethics?

Ethics is about doing what is right. It takes people who are dedicated to acting on their core values. A business may have a strong ethics and compliance program in place, along with the best internal control processes, but it all comes down to the people in charge and the values guiding them. So the way I see it, personal values within an organization when comes time to make critical decisions is something that cannot be overlooked.

4. What are the issues in ethics and compliance that keep you up at night?

The risk of an ethics problem occurring is really quite low, but when it does happen, the impact can be massive. What I worry about is that an isolated incident of misconduct by a person or a group can outweigh all the positive work done by an entire organization. These kinds of incidents have the power to eclipse years and years of good work.

5. What is the best advice you’ve ever received?

“If nothing changes, nothing changes.” I think that the capacity to change is an essential trait in every context. We need to be able to adapt quickly to see the change we want to make in the world around us.

Published by the Ethics and Compliance Community of HEC Montréal
November 2021

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