NACD 2016 Blue Ribbon Commission Report

Building the Strategic-Asset Board

A New Mandate for Directors: Is Your Board Ready?

The world in which boards operate has been transformed in fundamental ways, prompting the critical question of whether a board's composition, director skill sets, and core board processes remain fit-for-purpose. The Commission believes that boards must adjust: by moving beyond traditional approaches to "board refreshment" and establishing a system for continuous improvement in the boardroom. This new mandate places substantially different demands on directors, and boards need to ask themselves, "Are we ready?"

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The 2016 NACD Blue Ribbon Commission

The report's commissioners are distinguished corporate directors and governance experts. In aggregate, they serve on a total of 34 publicly traded, 10 privately held, and 62 nonprofit company boards.


  • Bonnie Hill photo

    Bonnie Hill

    Director, California Water Service Group; former lead director, Home Depot

  • Richard Koppes photo

    Richard Koppes

    Senior Advisor, CamberView Partners; Director, IRRC Institute, NACD; former deputy executive officer and general counsel, CalPERS

Read our interview with the Co-chairs about the creation of the report in NACD Directorship

[ Click to expand ] the full list of commissioners.

  • Jean M. Birch

    Director, Cosi Inc., Darden Restaurants Inc., Papa Murphy’s Holdings Inc.

  • Glenn Booraem

    Principal and Treasurer, Vanguard Group Inc.

  • Sue W. Cole

    Director, Martin Marietta Materials Inc., Biscuitville Inc., Diversified Trust Co., NACD

  • Ken Daly

    CEO, NACD; Director, Powerlytics Inc., NACD

  • Nora M. Denzel

    Director, AMD Inc., Ericsson, Outerwall Inc., NACD Northern California Chapter

  • Cari Dominguez

    Director, Manpower Group Inc., Triple-S Management Corp., NACD

  • Nicholas M. Donofrio

    Director, AMD Inc., BNY Mellon Corp., Delphi Automotive PLC, Liberty Mutual, MITRE Co., NACD

  • Ted Dysart

    Vice Chairman, Heidrick & Struggles

  • Charles Elson

    Edgar S. Woolard Chair in Corporate Governance and Director, John L. Weinberg Center for Corporate Governance, University of Delaware; Director, Bob Evans Farms Inc., HealthSouth Corp.

  • Peter Gleason

    President, NACD; Director, Nura Health Inc.

  • John Gorman

    Partner, Luse Gorman PC; Director, Assure Holding Corp.

  • Holly Gregory

    Partner, Sidley Austin LLP

  • Karen N. Horn

    Director, Simon Properties Group, National Bureau of Economic Research; Chair, NACD

  • David Jackson

    Partner, Mercer International Inc.

  • Reatha Clark King

    Director, Malcolm Baldridge National Quality Award Board of Overseers; Chair Emeritus, NACD

  • Patrick A. Lee

    Senior Advisor, KPMG Audit Committee Institute

  • Bill McCracken

    CEO, Executive Consulting Group; Director, MDU Resources, NACD

  • Linda Mills

    Director, AIG, Navient Corp.

  • Anne Sheehan

    Director of Corporate Governance, CalSTRS

  • David Swinford

    President and CEO, Pearl Meyer

  • Dennis Whalen

    Partner-in-Charge, KPMG Board Leadership Center

  • Bill White

    Professor, Northwestern University; Director, ContextMedia, The Field Museum, NACD

  • Ralph Whitworth

    Founder, Relational Investors; Former chair, Apria Healthcare Group Inc., Hewlett-Packard Co., Waste Management, Inc.

Tools for Directors

Our 2016 Blue Ribbon Commission Report and related NACD resources feature a range of practical tools directors can use to accelerate the development of a strategic-asset board.  The full report offers 12 tools that any board can apply to introduce new practices or change existing approaches, including board and committee evaluation templates, guidelines for enhancing board evaluation processes, and a multiyear board succession planning matrix.

Tools: Evaluating Your Board's Succession Planning Practices

Reference list of more than 25 questions that can help directors evaluate

  • The board’s ability to manage succession planning as a portfolio, instead of a series of one-off replacements of individual directors
  • The strength of the board’s search capabilities, including early-engagement activities and the depth of the candidate pipeline
  • The role that board and company culture play in succession planning
To access the complete set of tools
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About NACD's Blue Ribbon Commission Reports

Our Blue Ribbon Commission Reports (BRCs) are NACD’s annual signature publications that propose new principles and practices to address the most critical boardroom issues.  Read more about the history and impact of the BRC report series here.