The North American Board (NAB) of The Institute of Internal Auditors (IIA) is pleased to announce the names of the nine inaugural inductees of the American Hall of Distinguished Audit Practitioners. This is the first honor specifically designed to recognize American internal audit practitioners who have made extraordinary contributions to the internal audit profession in the United States. 

To be considered for the honor, an internal auditor must exemplify high ethical conduct, integrity, moral character, service, and leadership; and be nominated by at least two individuals who are actively engaged in the profession. Not only have the inaugural members of the American Hall diligently served their employing organizations, but they also have provided thought leadership in advancing internal audit education and knowledge throughout the U.S.

The inaugural members of the American Hall of Distinguished Audit Practitioners include Cynthia Cooper, the former chief audit executive (CAE) at Worldcom, who courageously blew the whistle on fraudulent accounting practices and was named one of Time magazine’s Persons of the Year; United Airlines VP of Internal Audit Steve Goepfert, who has been an influential advocate for the internal audit profession and internal audit education, and has held numerous IIA volunteer leadership roles including the 2006-2007 chairman of The IIA’s Global Board of Directors; Ralph Purpur, retired VP of auditing at Estee Lauder, who served as a dedicated volunteer leader for The IIA for more than 20 years and chaired the IIA’s building fund campaign in 2000 that raised nearly $1 million; Director of the LSU Center for Internal Audit Glenn Sumners, who founded the country’s (and the world’s) first higher education program for internal auditing and The IIA’s first Internal Audit Educational Partnership; and Bill Taylor, retired Auditor General of the Inter-American Development Bank, who served in key volunteer leadership positions for three decades, including the 1995-96 IIA Chairman, and one of only four individuals to have received The IIA’s Lifetime Achievement Award.

Four American Hall inaugural members received the honor posthumously in recognition of their significant contributions to the early years of the profession. These inductees include one of the three founders of The IIA, Victor Brink, who served as CAE at Ford Motor Company and a professor of internal auditing at Columbia University, and who authored the first internal audit textbook; Bradford Cadmus, who served as the first managing director of The IIA and was instrumental in growing the profession and The IIA globally; Larry Sawyer, widely known as the “father of modern internal auditing,” who wrote numerous editions of Sawyer’s Internal Auditing — the first extensive manual on the profession and its practice; and John Thurston, who was one of The IIA’s founding fathers, its first chairman, and an eminent authority in the field of internal auditing.

“American IIA members have long demonstrated the professionalism, expertise, and leadership required to help set the bar for the practice internal auditing in this country,” says IIA North American Board Chairman Larry Harrington, CIA. “We are so pleased to recognize and showcase the dedication and achievements of these exemplary practitioners by inducting them into the American Hall of Distinguished Audit Practitioners.”

The IIA serves more than 170,000 members worldwide, with approximately 70,000 residing in North America.

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