[caption id="attachment_5835" align="alignnone" width="4800"] Audrey Boone Tillman, Chief Legal Officer of Aflac.[/caption] AUDREY BOONE TILLMAN BECAME THE GENERAL COUNSEL OF AFLAC Inc. in 2014 after spending 14 years outside its legal department running different business units of the company. Tillman describes Aflac as a leading provider of voluntary insurance. Known for television commercials featuring its mascot, the Aflac Duck, the company touts its ability to pay cash benefits fast when a policyholder gets sick or hurt. Although the company is headquartered in Columbus, Georgia, about 75 percent of its proceeds come from Japan, Tillman says. As general counsel, Tillman directs Aflac’s legal division and functions related to corporate communications, federal relations, global cybersecurity, human resources, the office of the corporate secretary and government regulations. She also oversees the general counsel and compliance offices at Aflac Japan. LEGAL TEAM: Aflac’s legal division has 26 team members, including 13 lawyers. In addition to the lawyers on the legal team, there are attorneys Tillman oversees in other divisions, including the company’s state and federal regulations, U.S. and Japan compliance and cybersecurity teams. Because of its small size, the legal division outsources much of its work. “We have a diversity of counsel we go to,” Tillman says. OUTSIDE COUNSEL: Aflac has had a longstanding relationship with Alston & Bird, headquartered in Atlanta. Tillman says the firm handles employment law matters for the company. For matters involving securities or governance work, the company turns to Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom, which has its headquarters in New York City. The company also uses a number of smaller firms and individual lawyers as its outside counsel, Tillman says. DAILY DUTIES: “My day can start very, very early and end very late,” Tillman says, noting that she may begin the day in a meeting with colleagues in Japan and end the day at a meeting in Aflac’s headquarters. “I’m in a lot of meetings,” she says. Tillman says she is available to consult with or advise the company’s chief executive officer or members of the executive committee or board of directors. She says she also maintains a large network of general counsel at other companies as a sounding board. ROUTE TO THE TOP: After graduating from the University of Georgia School of Law, Tillman served as a law clerk for Judge Richard C. Erwin, then-chief judge for the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of North Carolina. Working for Erwin made her see the application of everything she had studied in law school, Tillman says. Tillman also worked as an associate in the Greensboro office of Smith Helms Mulliss & Moore, which she says was the largest law firm in North Carolina at the time, and served as an associate professor at North Carolina School of Law. Tillman joined Aflac as a staff attorney in January 1996 after her husband, Dr. Chip Tillman, accepted a medical position in Columbus. She did not remain a staff attorney for long, however. “I tell people all the time you can get to the top by starting at the bottom,” she says. In 1997, Tillman was promoted to second vice president of the legal department and became vice president in 2000. She became senior vice president of human resources in August 2001 and executive vice president of corporate services in 2008. Heading the different business units at Aflac helped broaden her perspective of the company’s business, she says. PERSONAL: Tillman, 52, and her physician husband, whose practice focuses on internal and sports medicine, have been married 27 years. They have three children, one in college and two in high school. LAST BOOK READ: The last book Tillman had read at the time of this interview was nonfiction, “A Hillbilly Elegy” by J.D. Vance. “It was very enlightening on a number of levels,” she says. WHAT KEEPS HER UP AT NIGHT: Tillman says she worries about cybersecurity: “To know there are constantly people out there trying to get your confidential information for profit.” PRIORITIES: Tillman says she wants the leaders who report to her to see a broader view of Aflac than just what is on their desk. “As the business is trying to evolve, we have to evolve,” she says.