Anthony J. Pugliese is president and CEO of The Institute of Internal Auditors (IIA), the internal audit profession’s most widely recognized advocate, educator, and provider of standards, guidance, and certifications. Over a career spanning more than 30 years, Pugliese has been a strategic, hands-on leader, directed strategic expansions into major global markets, pioneered innovative educational initiatives aimed at enhancing members’ professional growth, overseen the internal audit function of a major organization, and defined cultural norms toward greater diversity, equity, and inclusiveness (DE&I).
As CEO of The IIA, he drives the vision and management of a nearly 80-year-old organization with more than 200,000 members, 156 chapters, and 112 affiliates in nearly 200 countries and territories. His focus is on enhancing membership services, creating new approaches to learning and competency development programs, fulfilling The IIA’s multimillion-dollar digital transformation initiative, and enhancing the value of internal audit, particularly in its role of addressing organizational risks and opportunities.
A seasoned executive and skilled association strategist with a passion for innovation and technological advancement, Pugliese most recently was President and CEO of the California Society of CPAs, the largest state CPA organization in the United States, with more than 45,000 members. From 1997 through 2018, he served in key leadership positions at what is now the Association of International Certified Professional Accountants, the world’s largest accounting professional organization. His roles included executive vice president of membership, technology, and learning; chief operating officer and senior vice president of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants, where he oversaw the AICPA’s $50 million relocation to North Carolina; and vice president of business reporting and member innovation.
Pugliese advocates a culture that promotes innovation, collaboration, empowerment, diversity, and achievement. In 2020, Pugliese led development of a Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Committee at CalCPA to identify and address racial and other inequities in the accounting profession. That effort led to development of a groundbreaking study, in collaboration with the Institute of Management Accountants (IMA), to examine race and ethnicity, gender, and LGBTQIA (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, intersex and asexual) orientation in the U.S. accounting profession. Pugliese is long active in the community, from mentoring students to leading business partnerships, such as chambers of commerce.
A graduate of the University of North Florida (Jacksonville), Pugliese has been repeatedly recognized as one of the most influential people in accounting, appearing most recently on the cover of Accounting Today. He holds the AICPA’s Chartered Global Management Accountant (CGMA) and Certified Information Technology Professional (CITP) credentials, and is licensed as a CPA in California, Georgia, and North Carolina.