Cynthia (Cindy) Cetani has had the heart of a compliance pro since she was little. Her inquisitiveness and desire to get to the root of an issue was made apparent by the long hours Cetani would spend on the phone as a child, counseling her peers and offering potential solutions based on the answers to what she says can sometimes seem like endless questions. Cetani’s curiosity might also be her superpower.
“I think one of the things that comes across as a business partner is that I ask a lot of questions to understand the situation,” Cetani, the chief integrity and compliance officer for Indivior, explains. “I have always tried to understand where someone else is coming from and what their needs are in order to achieve a win-win versus driving a siloed compliance agenda.”
Global Compliance Excellence
Cetani’s collaborative and empathetic approach is paired with a repeated history of outstanding results. The CICO has amassed more than two decades of pharmaceutical experience that spans the globe, and her latest role at Indivior is to help aid a young organization in its mission not only to develop innovative treatments for addiction and its co-occurring disorders but to help destigmatize an epidemic that has affected more families than it has not.
Following a promising career as a telephone therapist but prior to coming to Indivior, Cetani spent fifteen years in integrity and compliance at Novartis, first in a series of promotions in its US operations and later within the global team from its international headquarters in Basel, Switzerland. “As a leader, I was able to experience the top corporate structure of a major multinational corporation,” Cetani explains. “There are so many learnings from that experience that I apply regularly.”
Cetani moved to Switzerland to colead strategy development and navigate the evolution of the company’s compliance program across 160 countries while concurrently leading the compliance analytics approach for effective risk management and program measurement. “It was an incredibly rewarding experience, and I’m most proud of the strategic direction that I set as a result of my leadership growth journey,” the CICO says, “to create a vision for where we are going and help connect the dots along the way.”
The CICO’s coming to Indivior was no happy accident. Cetani was looking for two matches: a culture and a mission that would motivate her every day. “Having worked in pharma for over twenty years, I always fueled my passion for supporting innovation in healthcare,” Cetani explains. “But it was not to the scale of the daily headlines that touch on the opioid epidemic and this chronic brain disease that affects individuals from every walk of life. I wanted to be part of the solution in helping patients with our innovation and leadership in this space.”
As for the culture component, Cetani also found her fit. “It’s like no other company I’ve been at in my entire career,” she says. “When I think about how important culture is to a compliance program, we have it here.” It comes in many forms, from Indivior’s chief commercial officer setting the expectation that integrity and compliance “should be like breathing,” to his team developing a robust “compliance compass” dashboard that helps drive accountability and oversight of integrity and compliance.
“[Diversity and inclusion] relies on us seeking out a diversity of views, opinions, and experience. It relies on trust, open dialog, and constant evolution.”
At Indivior, Cetani has also had the opportunity to engage one of her other strong suits: building teams. The company was spun out six years ago, so there has been a great deal of growing to do in a short amount of time. “My team has been able to double its size since I started here and bring in some talented experts to help us build out the Indivior integrity and compliance program and drive a learning organization,” Cetani says. “Our whole organization is focused on our mission, and we want to make sure that our reputation out there reflects our leadership in this disease space for the benefit of patients as well as all of us at Indivior being able to look in the mirror every day and be proud of who we are and where we work.”
More than a Buzzword
While diversity and inclusion became a priority for many companies only in the last handful of years, it’s been a passion point for Cetani for decades. She served on the Executive Diversity and Inclusion Council at Novartis, as an executive sponsor of multiple resource groups, and was tapped to colead the build out of the LGBTQIA+ affinity group for Switzerland. “We were able to fly the rainbow flag over the Novartis campus for the first time ever in Switzerland, along with a lot of good work with the team to build that effort out,” the CICO says.
Cetani is also committed to women in leadership, supporting organizations that promote representation like the Healthcare Businesswomen’s Association. “D&I goes hand in hand with how I view leading and administering an effective compliance program,” she says. “It relies on us seeking out a diversity of views, opinions, and experience. It relies on trust, open dialog, and constant evolution.”
The fight for diversity and inclusion, Cetani notes, comes down to what made her want to enter the compliance field in the first place. “I want to drive fairness and equity in how we operate each and every day,” she says. “Indivior has committed to ensuring that our internal culture is strengthened and maintained through diversity and inclusion, and we will continue to build upon the strong culture that is our asset.”