Financial Poise

About Maria Fernandez

  • December 8, 2021

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Maria Fernandez has extensive experience in legal, compliance, and diversity leadership roles. Until recently, Maria was Vice President, Head of Ethics and Compliance, Direct Energy. She led ethics and regulatory compliance, including corporate compliance, investigations, assurance, risk assessment reviews, and retail and wholesale regulatory compliance.

Before her position at Direct Energy, Maria worked at IBM for 20+ years, where she held various leadership positions. She supported their hardware, software, services, and microelectronics divisions. Maria was also responsible for the design and implementation of IBM’s global compliance program. In addition, she supported IBM Latin America as their General Counsel for seven years, where she managed all legal and compliance matters for the Latin America organization.

Maria received her B.A. in Psychology from Lehman College (City University of New York) in 1989 and received her J.D. from Cornell Law in 1992. She is admitted to the bars of the States of New York and California and the United States Supreme Court.

Maria is currently Chair of the Membership Committee, President’s Council of Cornell Women (PCCW), a member of the Houston Integrated School District (HISD) District Advisory Committee, and a founder and past President of the Latino Lawyers of Cornell (LLoC). She resides in Houston with her two sons.


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