Portrait of Celie Niehaus

Celie Niehaus

Member, Governance, Risk and Audit Committee

Celie serves as a member of the Governance, Risk & Audit Advisory Committee that oversees the operations of The USAA Educational Foundation, including the mitigation of its operational and strategic risk, and its annual audit.

Celie has a long history of senior executive corporate risk and compliance leadership previously serving as the Senior Vice President, Enterprise Chief Compliance Officer (CCO) responsible for defining and executing the overall vision and strategy for managing compliance risk on an enterprise-wide basis.

Before their time at USAA, Celie served as CCO and a management committee member for BBVA USA (now PNC). They oversaw compliance activities for all U.S. operations, including the retail banking, commercial banking and wealth, corporate and investment banking, treasury, and digital businesses. Celie was directly responsible for adherence to laws and regulations that govern anti-money laundering, investment, securities and derivatives, consumer, sales practices, ethics, whistleblower protections, and other corporate responsibilities.

Celie has more than 30 years’ experience in risk management, all in the financial services industry. Before BBVA, they served as the CCO for Capital One Retail and Direct Bank and Enterprise Services and as the company’s Chief Privacy Officer. Prior to their time at Capital One, Niehaus was the Bank CCO, Global Privacy Officer, and head of philanthropic giving at E*TRADE Financial (now Morgan Stanley) and worked for Bank One (now JP Morgan Chase) in various compliance capacities, such as the CCO for First USA and WingspanBank.com, where they established compliance functions for the subsidiaries.

Celie is a Certified Regulatory Compliance Manager as well as a member of the Institute of Certified Bankers, Bank Policy Institute Chief Compliance Officer Forum, BAI Compliance Executives Roundtable, RMA CCO Peer Group, and a frequent speaker at industry conferences.

A passionate leader and volunteer, Celie commits time and energy to numerous organizations. They have served on boards including National History Day (president, board of trustees), Human Rights Campaign (Federal Club Council), KIPP Texas (Houston Regional Board), Signature Theatre (Emeritus Board), Operation HOPE, Inc. (Board, Banking On Our Future), iCouldBe (mentor), OutLeadership (OutWomen Advisory Board), and the Network for Teaching Entrepreneurship (Coach, Board). Celie also served as a special advisor to the Chairman of the Subcommittee on the Underserved and Community Empowerment of the U.S. President’s Advisory Council on Financial Capability, on the Clinton Global Initiatives of America’s Financial Inclusion – Working Girls and Women Strategy Groups, and on the Aspen Institute’s Initiative on Financial Security and Youth Entrepreneurship Strategy Groups. Celie personally promotes community involvement and has taught financial literacy and entrepreneurship to over 1,000 youth, as well as mentored youth in over 100 at-risk and low-income communities.

Celie has a Business Administration degree from Eastern Kentucky University and is a graduate of the American Bankers Association’s (ABA’s) National and Graduate Compliance Schools. They and their wife, Tabitha, relocated to San Antonio in 2021. The couple serves their local communities through National History Day and enjoy supporting and volunteering at San Antonio Food Bank.  They are passionate about travel and thoroughly enjoy theater and the performing arts.