Welcome Jodi Geary, Chief Audit Executive
Jodi Geary is Georgia Tech’s new chief audit executive. She joined the Institute after 16 years with KPMG, an audit, tax, and advisory firm.
Geary is new to Georgia Tech, but she isn’t new to higher education.
“At KPMG I had many years of experience with clients in the higher education, not-for-profit, and government sectors,” Geary said. “I knew that when I transitioned from the firm I wanted to go into higher education. And, being in Atlanta, I wanted to go to a top-notch school. Some of the things that attracted me to Tech are its research arm and the fact that it is a large institution but still has a community feel.”
Frank Neville, Tech’s senior vice president for Strategic Initiatives, chief of staff, and chair of the national search that yielded Geary, said she was the right person for the position.
"Jodi brings a wealth of experience to Georgia Tech and we are pleased to welcome her to the Yellow Jacket community,” said Neville. “Her breadth of perspective, her excellent communications skills, and her track record of leadership will serve her well in her role here. We are excited to be able to attract such a skilled and experienced professional to lead our Internal Audit team and I am confident that she will be a great asset to Georgia Tech.
Before KPMG, Geary was an auditor with the Comptroller of the Treasury of the state of Tennessee. She grew up in Morristown, Tennessee, outside of Knoxville, and earned a Bachelor of Sciences in accounting from Tennessee Technological University in Cookeville. She is a certified public accountant in Georgia and New Hampshire, and a certified government financial manager. She has been married to Alex, her college sweetheart, for 23 years. They have a daughter, Alli, who is a first-year student at the University of Georgia, and a son, Brady, a high school sophomore.
At Georgia Tech, her job is to oversee the Internal Audit Department.
“I think the Tech community will see I am heavily involved in every audit,” she said. “I also interact with the Legal Department and their investigations team, as well as reaching out to perform various advisory and consulting engagements across campus.”
Geary said that in addition to performing audits, the Audit Department provides guidance on the implementation of new policies and procedures and acts to proactively address issues that could arise.
“We’re actually there to try to prevent people from getting into trouble,” she said. “The audit reports are crafted more or less to identify gaps in internal control structures or in the way some operating procedures are happening. The purpose is to identify those gaps so you can correct them and not run into issues down the road.”
After only a few weeks at Tech, Geary is starting to identify challenges and opportunities for her department.
“I see opportunities for the department to offer more advisory services. I would like to hire an IT audit specialist to look at how our systems work together or don't work together, and what controls are put in place over those systems such as access controls, change management, and disaster recovery,” she said. “The challenge is going to be getting the funding, given the current economic environment.”
Geary said that her new colleagues have helped ease the stress of starting a new job during the coronavirus pandemic.
“I’ve had a phenomenal transition team,” she said. “Melissa Hall, who was filling my position in the interim, came in to meet with me, and we speak almost every day. Everyone in my department has jumped in to get me up to speed. Someone from the University System of Georgia talked me through the new auditing software that was installed last spring. And, my administrative assistant has been setting up meetings all over campus for me to meet people. Some of them were on my interview panel, so instead of meeting them it’s more of a ‘get reacquainted’ type of conversation. It’s been very nice.”