40 Under 40: Joseph Sunbury, Chief Internal Auditor, Nevada System of Higher Education


Joseph Sunbury

Born and raised in Ohio, Joseph Sunbury admittedly had rather dry career aspirations.

“I realize no kid growing up ever says ‘I really want to be an auditor,’ but I swear that was me,” said Sunbury, who received his degree in accounting from Ohio State University and is a licensed Ohio CPA. “We had an assignment in seventh grade to write an essay about any profession, and I interviewed a partner from a public accounting/audit firm, while my friends were doing essays about much more interesting professions.”

A Southern Nevada resident since 2015, Sunbury joined the Nevada System of Higher Education as chief internal auditor in August of that year, responsible for oversight of a statewide team of internal auditors. He also works closely with the board of regents and NSHE management, with the goal of enhancing and protecting the system’s value.

“We do this a handful of ways but we attempt to align our resources and skillsets with areas of risk and complexity, focusing on areas where we feel we can add value or help with cost savings,” Sunbury said, adding that he is most proud of his team’s collaboration around the system. “When I first started, I noticed some misaligned expectations with key stakeholders at each of our institutions. In the spirit of aligning those expectations, we are executing more relevant projects, and that has been mutually beneficial to my department and, hopefully, the system as a whole.”

Away from NSHE, Sunbury volunteers as a coach in his neighborhood i9 sports program.