Celia Edwards Karam, Capital One Financial

Celia Edwards Karam
Chief Audit Officer
Capital One Financial
McLean, Va.

Celia Edwards Karam is a business analyst who learned the basics of business and strategy through her education and degrees from Harvard and Stanford Universities. Those basics and experience, coupled with her life’s work of leading an expanding scope of teams and lines of business, led to her current position as chief audit officer at Capital One Financial. In this role, she and her team develop and execute ways to identify and minimize risks while delivering viable financial solutions to customers.

“I’m working at the intersection of technology and risk, and creating solutions that improve people’s financial lives. It’s a pretty amazing gig,” she says. Working closely with the company’s CEO, board of directors, and senior management, Edwards Karam most enjoys helping to solve tough problems for the company in partnership with “a great team of people.” But even that has its challenges. “One is balancing the work of today with our work to transform into the audit function of tomorrow,” she explains.

“Capital One is a fast-paced environment and we must match its evolution into a tech- and machinelearning company that provides financial services.” Edwards Karam notes that advances in technology are profoundly affecting all businesses, including banking, and states, “Capital One is on the leading edge of that transformation, delivering innovative, real-time solutions to help customers manage their finances. The pace of change and transformation is breathtaking, and can be a challenge. But it is a challenge we have embraced.”

Outside of work, this mother of three is involved with Commonwealth, a nonprofit focused on building financial opportunity and developing innovative solutions to make financially vulnerable people more secure. She’s also active in her children’s activities in school and in sports. As for the future, “It’s a fair bet that I’ll be working on interesting problems that can positively impact people’s lives,” she says.