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Q&A with Bill Coffin

Ethisphere is delighted to introduce our new Editor in Chief, Bill Coffin. Bill will lead all things editorial, elevate Ethisphere’s expert point of view, and of course, take the helm at Ethisphere Magazine. Bill is an internationally recognized writer and editorial leader in the fields of ethics, compliance, insurance and risk management. His work has appeared in The Wall Street Journal, BusinessWeek, Forbes and Fortune, as well as Compliance Week, National Underwriter, Risk Management, Best’s Review and other B2B media.

Bill, you have won numerous national journalism awards for your investigative work. Tell us about these stories and why they were important to you.

Sometimes we focus so much on short, punchy stories that deeper, more complex issues go unseen. My investigative work focused on that. The one that matters most to me is “Tragic Tale,” the story of how Bill Mantlo, a writer for Marvel Comics in the 1970s and 1980s, fell through the cracks of the healthcare system after he was severely injured in a hit-and-run accident. That one got Marvel to take notice and help him out, which was awesome. We also won a cash prize for that story, which I donated to Bill’s care. And perhaps most of all, that story helped to reunite Bill with his son, whom he had not seen in 17 years. Everyone’s story matters. Especially those whose stories would otherwise go untold.

Previously you served as Director, Senior Editor at AIG, one of the world’s largest insurance companies. In this role, you wrote the firm’s ESG report. What are some key takeaways from that?

AIG is an outstanding company, and they put a lot of effort and genuine intent into their ESG reporting. I worked closely with AIG’s Chief Sustainability Officer, Jennifer Waldner-Grant, and her team to gather data from across the firm and present it in a way that would both answer external questions about AIG’s ESG activities as well as express the company’s unique structure and strengths. Like any ESG report, it’s much more easily said than done. Even if the data is all there – and there was a lot to pull from at AIG – making sure it lines up properly takes a great deal of work and collaboration. But the result is something to be proud of.

You have a rich creative life beyond Ethisphere a published novelist, game designer and podcaster. Tell us more.

I’m a big geek at heart, so I’m always doing side projects that express my enthusiasm for movies, music, books and the like. During the initial COVID lockdown, remember how people took on all sorts of personal projects? Mine was launching a podcast called Moments of Truth, a geeky chat show that’s all positive – we only talk about why we love the things we love. No griping, gatekeeping, or punching down. We have no intentions to monetize or aggressively market it; it’s just a fun thing to bring my friends and I together on the weekends. Plus, it was a handy excuse to understand podcasting, which is something I’d love to develop further for Ethisphere. You can check out Moments of Truth on Apple podcasts, Spotify, Google or Stitcher, or at

Anything else we should know about you?

I once heard ethics described as “morality in motion,” and I have always appreciated its unique challenge: to ensure that our principles of integrity remain intact after contact with the corrupting influences of the world—money, fame, power, etc. It’s simple to see why good ethics is good business. It’s harder to live up to that, and I’m honored to support Ethisphere’s mission to help more companies be good citizens. The world can be a pretty grim place. Let’s all do our best to do some good.

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