Catherine A. Allen

Catherine A. Allen

Founder and Chair of the Board, Shared Assessments and Board Risk Committee

For more than 30 years, Catherine A. Allen has been an outstanding leader in technology strategy and financial services and a key thought leader in business innovation.

Today, Catherine is Chairman and CEO of The Santa Fe Group, a strategic consulting company based in Santa Fe, NM. The Santa Fe Group specializes in briefings to C-level executives and boards of directors at financial institutions and other critical infrastructure companies and provides management for strategic industry and institutional projects, including the Shared Assessments Program, focused on third party risk.

Catherine currently serves as a board member of Synovus Financial Corporation and El Paso Electric Company and is a member of the Risk, Energy and Natural Resources, Public Policy and External Affairs, and Nominating and Governance Committees. She chairs the Security Committee for El Paso Electric. She is co-chair of the University of Missouri’s Capital Campaign and sits on the Research and Development Committee. She is also on the board of Women Corporate Directors and the Executive Women’s Forum. She sits on the Advisory Committee for Houlihan Lokey and chairs the Board of Trustees for the National Foundation for Credit Counseling and the board of Appleseed NM. She is also a member of the Museum of New Mexico Foundation, International Folk Art Alliance, Lensic Center for Performing Arts, Communities for Schools in New Mexico, Valles Caldera Trust, and the Mark Twain Research Foundation boards. She was a former board member and Chair of the Technology Committee for Stewart Information Services.

In 2007, Catherine stepped down from her role as the founding CEO of the financial services industry consortium, BITS, after a decade of service, to continue her work with The Santa Fe Group and pursue her passion to serve on corporate and nonprofit boards. During her tenure at BITS, Catherine worked closely with CEOs, CIOs, and executives at the nation’s largest financial institutions on strategic issues facing the financial services industry, from payments strategies to risk management. BITS’ accomplishments under Catherine’s leadership include creating best practices in more than 30 areas of financial services management.

Earlier in her career, Catherine served in several senior executive positions at Citicorp in the Retail, Bankcards, and Corporate Technology divisions. She represented Citibank as founding chair and president of the multi-industry Smart Card Forum. Prior to joining Citibank, Catherine was director of corporate planning for Dun and Bradstreet, where she created and chaired the Electronic Yellow Pages and Information Association. Catherine was also a consultant to CBS, Inc. on new technologies and international trade while she was a professor at American University’s Kogod College of Business Administration.

Catherine is active politically in national and local spheres, including being a former member of President Obama’s Economic Development and Small Business Committees and the New Mexico State Investment Council.

Catherine was honored in 2007 by US Banker Magazine with the Lifetime Achievement Award for her outstanding contributions to financial services and technology. In 2013, she was honored with the Lifetime Achievement Award for her contributions to technology by the Executive Women’s Forum. She was honored with the 2015 Leadership Award by the Griffith’s Society. She is the recipient of an Honorary Doctorate of Humane Letters from the University of Missouri, recognizing her professional achievements in financial services and technology.