NACD Joins the Climate Governance Initiative, A Project Run in Collaboration with the World Economic Forum


2021 Virtual NACD Summit Highlights Recovery and Reimagination in Today's Rapidly Evolving Corporate Landscape

WASHINGTON, DC (April 22, 2021)— The National Association of Corporate Directors (NACD), the authority on boardroom practices representing more than 22,000 board members, today announced the first round of featured speakers who will join the Virtual NACD Summit 2021 (Summit) October 4–8, 2021. This year's event will build upon its previous virtual format to offer members flexible access to engaging content.

This year's reimagined agenda will include even more general-session programming; an increased number of Ask the Experts panel discussions; bonus prerecorded Future Trends sessions; a broad array of networking opportunities; and enhanced learning opportunities with the addition of a "Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion" session to our Focus Forums, a Summit classic that takes a deep dive into governance challenges and best practices for specific company types, board committees, board roles, or areas of oversight.

"As we reflect on the past year's successes and opportunities for growth, organizations must focus on lessons learned and reimagining tomorrow's new normal," said Peter R. Gleason, president and CEO of NACD. "We have an opportunity to reshape the future of governance and leverage the unique challenges of the pandemic environment to be more responsive to emerging trends. This will ultimately enhance resilience and stability across industries and geographic locations nationwide."

Angela Ahrendts most recently served as senior vice president for Apple Retail. Prior to Apple, Ahrendts relocated to London to join Burberry, where she was CEO for nearly nine years. During her tenure, she was a member of the United Kingdom's Prime Minister's Business Advisory Council and named an Honorary Dame Commander of the British Empire. Prior to Burberry, Ahrendts spent 25 years as executive vice president with Liz Claiborne Inc., and prior to that was president for Donna Karan International. Ahrendts is currently on the boards of Ralph Lauren Corp., Airbnb Inc., and WPP PLC. She chairs Save the Children International and serves on several nonprofit boards. She sits on the Global Leadership Council of the Oxford University Saïd Business School and on the International Advisory Board of British American Business. Ahrendts has been recognized by Forbes, Fortune, and the BBC as a Top 100 Global Executive.

Fareed Zakaria hosts Fareed Zakaria GPS for CNN Worldwide and is a columnist for The Washington Post, a contributing editor for The Atlantic, and a best-selling author. He has earned the Peabody Award (2011) and an Emmy Award nomination (2013). Zakaria frequently contributes analysis of world events and public affairs for programming across CNN's multiple platforms. Prior to CNN Worldwide, Zakaria was editor of Newsweek International, managing editor of Foreign Affairs, a columnist for Time, an analyst for ABC News, and host of Foreign Exchange with Fareed Zakaria. In 2017, Zakaria was awarded the Arthur Ross Media Award by the American Academy of Diplomacy. Previously, he was named a Top 100 Global Thinker by Foreign Policy magazine. Zakaria serves on the boards of the Council of Foreign Relations and New America.

Adam Grant has been Wharton's top-rated professor for seven consecutive years. As an organizational psychologist, he is a leading expert on finding motivation and meaning and living more generous and creative lives. He has been recognized as one of the world's 10 most influential management thinkers and has been named to Fortune magazine's 40 under 40. He is a New York Times best-selling author and host of WorkLife, a chart-topping TED original podcast. His TED talks on original thinkers and givers and takers have been viewed more than 25 million times. Grant writes on work and psychology for the New York Times, serves on the Defense Innovation Board at the Pentagon, and has been honored as a Young Global Leader by the World Economic Forum.

Paul Polman is cofounder and chair of IMAGINE, a social venture accelerating business leadership to achieve the Global Goals. He is also chair of the International Chamber of Commerce, The B Team, Saïd Business School, and The Valuable 500, and he is vice-chair of the UN Global Compact. He previously served as CEO of Unilever, where he demonstrated that a long-term, multi-stakeholder model goes hand in hand with good financial performance. Polman was appointed to the UN Secretary General's High-level Panel that developed the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) and has since played a leading role in highlighting the business case for the 2030 development agenda, including as a founding member of the Business & Sustainable Development Commission. He remains a UN-appointed SDG Advocate. He has earned numerous awards, including the Rainforest Alliance Lifetime Achievement Award, UN Environment Programme's Champion of the Earth Award, and Oslo Business for Peace Award.

Additional speakers confirmed for NACD's 2021 Summit include these:

  • Carol Tomé, CEO, UPS

  • Kim Rucker, Director, Lennox International Inc., Celanese Corp., and Marathon Petroleum Corp.

  • Leslie Seidman, Audit Committee Chair, General Electric Co. and Moody's Corp.

  • Hon. Leo E. Strine Jr., Former Chief Justice, Delaware Supreme Court; Of Counsel, Corporate, Wachtell, Lipton, Rosen & Katz

  • Edie Weiner, President and CEO, The Future Hunters

  • Helene Gayle, President and CEO, The Chicago Community Trust; Director, The Chautauqua Institution, Coca-Cola, Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago, GoHealth Inc., New America, ONE Campaign, Organon, Palo Alto Networks, and Y Analytics

  • Sallie Krawcheck, CEO and Cofounder, Ellevest; Former CEO, Merrill Lynch

To learn more and to register, click here.

About NACD Summit
For more than 30 years, Summit has been regarded as the largest and most influential director forum in the world, attracting more than 1,800 attendees from across the globe to learn, be inspired, and connect with their peers. This year's event will expand on its first-ever virtual 2020 format to deliver more content and more flexibility for all member participants.

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 22,000 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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