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Melissa Barnes


Melissa Barnes 

Senior Vice President Enterprise Risk Mgmt., Chief Ethics & Compliance Officer, Eli Lilly and Company

Melissa Stapleton Barnes is senior vice president, enterprise risk management and chief ethics and compliance officer for Eli Lilly and Company, a global pharmaceutical and healthcare company. As an executive officer of the company, she leads Lilly’s global Ethics and Compliance function and serves on the Executive Committee. The Ethisphere Institute has recognized her as an Attorney Who Matters (in 2015 and 2016), the Healthcare Businesswomen’s Association named her a Rising Star in 2012, and the Indianapolis Business Journal honored her as a Woman of Influence in 2017.

Melissa joined Lilly in 1994 and took her current role in 2013. She has held a variety of business and legal roles including general counsel for Lilly Diabetes and Lilly Oncology. Prior to her current role, she was deputy general counsel responsible for overseeing all global litigation and investigations as well as managing the corporate secretary’s office and specialty legal functions.

She serves on the board of directors for Algonquin Power and Utilities Corporation, headquartered in Toronto. She is chair of the Ethics and Business Integrity Committee for the International Federation of Pharmaceutical Manufacturers & Associations. Locally, she volunteers as chair of board of the Great American Songbook Foundation and vice chair of the board for The Center for Performing Arts, and board and executive committee member for Visit Indy. Nationally, she is a member of the executive steering committee of the Ethisphere Business Ethics Leadership Alliance, Corporate Ethics Leadership Council, the Healthcare Businesswomen’s Association, and is a Fellow with the Ethics and Compliance Initiative.

Melissa earned a Bachelor of Science with highest distinction from Purdue University and a law degree from Harvard Law School. In 2016, Purdue University honored her with the College of Liberal Arts Distinguished Alumni Award. She currently serves on the Purdue Liberal Arts Dean's Advisory Council.