Skip to main content

Melissa Stapleton Barnes


BA 1989, Political Science

Senior Vice President, Enterprise Risk Management and Chief Ethics and Compliance Officer, Eli Lilly and Company

Melissa Stapleton Barnes became Senior Vice President, Enterprise Risk Management, and Chief Ethics and Compliance Officer for Eli Lilly and Company in January 2013. She also serves as a member of the company’s executive committee. Prior to taking this role, Melissa was Vice President and Deputy General Counsel, Global Litigation and Specialty Legal. In this capacity, she was responsible for overseeing the company’s global litigation and investigations, as well as managing the corporate secretary’s office and specialty legal functions.  Since joining Lilly in 1994, she has held a variety of legal and business roles, including general counsel for Lilly Diabetes and Lilly Oncology, managed market segment leader for national accounts, and Six Sigma black belt. Prior to joining Lilly, Melissa was a litigator at the law firm of Baker & Daniels in Indianapolis. In 2012, Melissa was recognized by the Healthcare Businesswomen’s Association as a “Rising Star.” She currently serves on the board and executive committee of The Center for Performing Arts and is a board member of the Great American Songbook Foundation, Visit Indy and the Children’s Museum. Barnes resides in Carmel, IN with her husband of twenty-five years, Bradon (BSME 1990, Mechanical Engineering, MSME 1999, Mechanical Engineering) and their three children: Nate (21) – a student at Vanderbilt University, Kristin (18) – also a student at Vanderbilt University, and Jackson (11).