NACD Launches Commission to Explore the Future of the American Boardroom


Press Releases

Diverse Group of Governance Practitioners Will Challenge Current Practices and Offer Solutions for 2022 and Beyond

  • COVID variants, virtual meetings, supply-chain disruptions, climate change, digitization of business, complex cyber risks, a renewed commitment to social justice, and the Great Resignation are reshaping social and economic life in powerful ways.

  • The Commission will leverage NACD’s access to leading board governance practitioners and advisors to help boards evolve to meet the demands of the future.

WASHINGTON, DC (December 26, 2021)—  The National Association of Corporate Directors (NACD), the authority on boardroom practices representing more than 23,000 board members, today announced the 2022 NACD Future of the American Boardroom Commission, which will convene a diverse, influential group of directors and notable governance practitioners from across the investor, regulatory, and academic communities.

The Commission will work to define what it means to be a high-performing board and ultimately to position boards to help their companies meet the challenges of a more-turbulent future. The initiative takes place in an atmosphere of increased investor scrutiny of board quality, coupled with a palpable shift in societal expectations of businesses, and, as two years of unprecedented disruption call into question many of the existing practices, approaches, and norms in American boardrooms that may no longer prove effective in delivering strong oversight. The initiative will seek to discover whether the prevailing governance model may be adapted, or whether a fundamental reshaping is in order.

Led by cochairs Sue Cole and Bill McNabb, the first phase of this initiative will focus on identifying outdated practices and developing high-level guidance to advance board effectiveness. These guiding principles will be coupled with practical advice and tools to help boards and their committees take swift and deliberate action to adopt specific changes.

“Boards today bear a tremendous responsibility to the organizations and communities they serve—one that requires a fresh perspective on board performance, quality, transparency, and value,” said Peter Gleason, president and CEO of NACD. “NACD is proud to bring this research forward to enable boards to meet the demands of the future.”

“I am proud to serve as cochair for this Commission and look forward to collaborating with this exemplary group to challenge the status quo in today’s boardrooms,” said Cole. “This is a unique opportunity to carefully examine prevailing board governance norms and to identify the critical drivers of strong board performance for the coming decade.”

The second phase of the Commission’s efforts will be driven by working groups, led by Heidrick & Struggles, the KPMG Board Leadership Center, Marsh & McLennan Companies, and Pearl Meyer. Holly Gregory, partner with Sidley Austin, will serve as special advisor to the initiative. The working groups will focus on the future of major board committees and address their mandate, scope, charter, and emerging skills and competencies.

“This is a critical time to advance board performance across many dimensions, including how we compose our boards,” said McNabb. “As we embark on this effort, we will focus on supporting the heightened mandate for boards to steward long-term value creation for their companies.”

Listed below are the directors and governance practitioners who will lead the Commission:

Future of the American Boardroom Commissioners

With Primary Organization Affiliations and Selected Board Seats

Sue Cole (Cochair)
Managing Partner, SAGE Leadership & Strategy
Biscuitville Inc., Diversified Trust Co., Martin Marietta Materials Inc., NACD

Bill McNabb (Cochair)
Altruist Corp., Axiom Global, Ernst & Young LLP, IBM, Tilney Smith & Williamson Ltd., United Health Group Inc.

Luis Aguilar
ENVESTNET Inc., Donnelley Financial Solutions Inc., NACD Atlanta Chapter

Orlando Ashford
Array Technologies, Hershey Entertainment & Resorts Co., ITT Inc., Perrigo Co. PLC, State Farm Fire and Life, Year Up

Jan Babiak
Bank of Montreal, Euromoney Institutional Investor PLC, NACD Nashville Advisory Board, Walgreens Boots Alliance Inc.

Lynn Clarke
Operating Partner, Jelly Belly Sparkling Waters
Nielsen-Massey Flavorings (Chair), A. Duie-Pyle Inc., Abarta Coca-Cola Beverages, Basic American Foods, NACD Connecticut Chapter, Rogers Foam Corp., The Vollrath Manufacturing Co.

Nora Denzel, NACD.DC
Advanced Micro Devices Inc., Ericsson, NACD, Norton Life Lock Inc., SuSE Linux Inc., SuSE SA, Talend Inc., Talend SA

Peggy Foran, NACD.DC
Senior Vice President, Chief Governance Officer and Corporate Secretary, Prudential Financial Inc.
Orion Group Holdings Inc.

Peter Gleason
President and CEO, NACD
Nura Health Inc.

Linda Hill
Wallace Brett Donham Professor of Business Administration, Harvard Business School
Cofounder, Paradox Strategies

Shelley Leibowitz, NACD.DC
President, SL Advisory
BitSight Technologies Inc., Elastic NV, Morgan Stanley, NACD New York Chapter, Supply Wisdom Inc.

Michael Marquardt
CEO, Global Kompass Strategies Inc.
American Cancer Society Inc. (Chair), PT AA International Indonesia (Chair), Commonwealth Trust Co., Malaysian Alliance of Corporate Directors, Strategic Partnerships LLC

Sara Mathew
Dropbox, Freddie Mac, Reckitt Benckiser Group, State Street, XOS

John Roe
Managing Director, Head of BlackRock Investment Stewardship (BIS), Americas

Judy Samuelson
Vice President, Founder, and Executive Director, Business and Society Program, The Aspen Institute
Financial Health Network Inc.

Teresa Sebastian
President and CEO, The Dominion Asset Group
The AES Corp., Juul Labs Inc., Kaiser Aluminum Corp., NACD Nashville Advisory Board, Terminix

Larry Thompson
Counsel, Finch McCranie LLP (Former US Deputy Attorney General)
Limited Duration Income Trust, Franklin Universal Trust, Templeton Dragon Fund, Templeton Emerging Markets Income Fund, Templeton Emerging Markets Fund, Templeton Global Income Fund

Donna Zarcone, NACD.DC
CDW Corp., Cigna Corp., The Duchossois Group Inc., Quinnox Inc., Smithsonian National Board, Polsky Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation at the University of Chicago

Special Advisor to the Commission:

Holly Gregory
Partner, Sidley Austin LLP

To learn more about the initiative, visit the Future of the American Boardroom Resource Center.

About NACD
For more than 40 years, NACD has been on the leading edge of corporate governance, setting standards of excellence that have elevated board performance. NACD arms today’s directors with insights and education that drive their mission forward, while preparing a new generation of boardroom leaders to meet tomorrow’s biggest challenges. NACD is a community of more than 23,000 directors driven by a common purpose: to be trusted catalysts of economic opportunity and positive change—in businesses and in the communities they serve. To learn more about NACD, visit

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