Cathy Bessant

Chief Operations and Technology Officer

Bank of America

Cathy Bessant is chief operations and technology officer at Bank of America and is a member of the company’s executive management team. Since 21, Cathy has led global technology and operations, delivering end-to-end technology and operating services across the company through a team of 95, people in over 35 countries. She also oversees the company’s business continuity and information security efforts.

Since joining the bank in 1982, Cathy has held a number of senior leadership roles. She was president, global corporate banking; president, global product solutions and global treasury services; chief marketing officer; president, consumer real estate and community development banking; national small business segment executive; and president of the Florida market.

Cathy serves as executive sponsor for the company’s disability advisory council. She was formerly the executive sponsor for the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) pride executive board and led the creation of the LGBT ally program. She was previously named No.1 among OUTstanding LGBT+ Ally Executives, presented by the Financial Times.

For the third consecutive year, she ranked No.1 among the “25 Most Powerful Women in Banking” by American Banker. Cathy was named to Barron’s “1 Most Influential Women in U.S. Finance” and she received WatersTechnology’s 219 Women in Technology and Data Trailblazer Award. She has also appeared on Working Mother magazine’s “5 Most Powerful Working Moms” list.

Active in the community and region, Cathy received the distinguished service award from the University of North Carolina at Charlotte. In addition, she was awarded the North Carolina Order of the Long Leaf Pine, was recognized by the Charlotte Business Journal with the Women in Business Lifetime Achievement Award, and was named to Business NC’s Power 1. She chairs the North Tryon vision plan advisory committee.

Cathy led the formation of the council on the responsible use of artificial intelligence (AI) to address ethical and policy issues related to this rapidly evolving technology. In addition, she is a member of the president’s council of advisors on science and technology (PCAST).

Cathy serves on the board of directors of Zurich Insurance Group, is an independent member of the USA Field Hockey board of directors, is on the board of trustees for The Urban Institute, and is on the advisory board for the Ross School of Business at the University of Michigan. As part of a leadership course at Ross, she summited Africa’s Mount Kilimanjaro, the world’s tallest freestanding mountain, in August 218.