Director of Ethics and Compliance

Libby Washburn provides advice and counsel related to ethics and compliance, ensuring that organizations exercise due diligence and implement sound internal controls to operate with integrity and protect against legal risk. She has expertise in building compliance structures, navigating the legislative process, directing internal investigations, and guiding strategic communications and crisis management efforts. Washburn has specialized experience in Title IX, VAWA, Clery Act, anonymous reporting hotlines, Minors on Campus programs, enterprise risk assessments, and federal civil rights investigations. She also guided a university through a three-year monitoring period and timely conclusion of a Title IX oversight agreement by the U.S. Department of Justice. Washburn currently serves as the Director of Ethics and Compliance for the San Diego Zoo Wildlife Alliance. She served as a Special Assistant to the President for Native Affairs at the White House. She previously served as the Chief Compliance Officer and Chief of Staff at the University of New Mexico before relocating to Iowa in 2018. Washburn served as the Chief of Staff to the Deputy Secretary of the U.S. Department of the Interior and in a leadership position at the Bureau of Reclamation, working on congressional oversight efforts, Inspector General responses, and FOIA matters. She also assisted with a federal department-wide enterprise risk assessment. Washburn provided legislative guidance while serving as the State Director for U.S. Senator Jeff Bingaman. She served as the communications and external relations director at the Udall Foundation. Washburn is a member of the Chickasaw Nation of Oklahoma. She is an attorney, practicing law for several years in private practice and for the federal government. She has significant experience in ethics and privacy law, federal Indian law, natural and cultural resources law, and water law. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in Journalism from the University of Oklahoma, a Master of Arts in Government from Texas Woman’s University, and a Juris Doctorate from the University of New Mexico School of Law. She is licensed to practice law in New Mexico and the District of Columbia. She holds a Certified Compliance & Ethics Professional (CCEP) certification and federal security clearances.

Current Role

  • Company Name: San Diego Zoo Wildlife Alliance
  • Job Title: Director of Ethics and Compliance
  • Start Date: June 2022
  • Company Industry: Non-profit Organization Management
  • Location: United States

San Diego Zoo Wildlife Alliance is a nonprofit international conservation leader, committed to inspiring passion for nature and creating a world where all life thrives. The San Diego Zoo Wildlife Alliance (SDZWA) empowers people from around the globe to support their mission to conserve wildlife through innovation and partnerships. SDZWA supports cutting-edge conservation and brings the stories of their work back to two world-famous facilities, the San Diego Zoo and San Diego Zoo Safari Park—giving millions of guests, in person and virtually, the opportunity to experience conservation in action. The work of SDZWA extends from San Diego to strategic and regional conservation “hubs” across the globe, where their strengths—via their “Conservation Toolbox,” including the renowned Wildlife Biodiversity Bank—are able to effectively align with hundreds of regional partners to improve outcomes for wildlife in more coordinated efforts. By leveraging these tools in wildlife care and conservation science, and through collaboration with hundreds of partners, SDZWA has reintroduced more than 44 endangered species to native habitats. Each year, San Diego Zoo Wildlife Alliance’s work reaches over 1 billion people in 150 countries via news media, social media, their websites, educational resources and the San Diego Zoo Kids channel, which is in children’s hospitals in 13 countries. Success is made possible by the support of members, donors and guests to the San Diego Zoo and San Diego Zoo Safari Park, who are Wildlife Allies committed to ensuring All Life Thrives.


Previous Company:

  • Company Name:  The White House
  • Job Title:  Special Assistant to the President, Domestic Policy Council
  • Start Date:  January 2021