NACD 2017 Blue Ribbon Commission Report

Culture as a Corporate Asset

Translating Values Into Value

Similar to an organization’s people, intellectual property, technology, and other assets, culture is a key success factor that contributes to an organization's competitive advantage and to long-term value creation. Yet in too many organizations, culture does not get the level of boardroom attention it deserves until a problem arises. The members of the 2017 NACD Blue Ribbon Commission issue a call to action for directors of all organizations to elevate their dialogue on culture—including culture inside the boardroom—in order to improve the quality of the board’s work and enhance its impact.

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For the full list of recommendations, please
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The 2017 NACD Blue Ribbon Commission

The report's commissioners are distinguished corporate directors and governance experts. In aggregate, they serve on the boards of 48 publicly traded and 28 privately held companies, and on 25 nonprofit organization boards. The commission included 11 current and former CEOs.

The titles and affiliations of commissioners in this list are selective and do not include all directorships. Commissioners participate as a service to the governance community and not as representatives of any organization.


  • Nicholas M. Donofrio photo

    Nicholas M. Donofrio

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

  • Helene D. Gayle photo

    Helene D. Gayle

    McKinsey Social Initiative; Director, The Coca-Cola Co., The Colgate-Palmolive Co.

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

[ Click to expand ] the full list of commissioners.

  • Joan Amble

    Director, Booz Allen Hamilton Inc., Sirius XM Holdings Inc., Zurich Insurance Group

  • Shellye Archambeau

    MetricStream Inc.; Director, Nordstrom Inc., Verizon Communications Inc.

  • Daryl Brewster

    CECP: The CEO Force for Good; Director, FreshPet, Manna Pro Products LLC

  • Stephen Brown

    KPMG Board Leadership Center

  • Phyllis Campbell

    JPMorgan Chase & Co.; Director, Alaska Air Group Inc., Toyota North America Advisory Board

  • Rodney Chase

    Director, Hess Corp., Tesoro Corp.

  • Sue Cole

    SAGE Leadership & Strategy; Director, Biscuitville Inc., Diversified Trust Company, Martin Marietta Materials Inc., NACD

  • Theodore Dysart

    Heidrick & Struggles

  • Charles Elson

    University of Delaware Weinberg Center for Corporate Governance; Director, Bob Evans Farms Inc., HealthSouth Corp.

  • Brenda Gaines

    Director, NACD, Southern Company Gas, Tenet Healthcare Corp., Smithsonian Institution National Board

  • Peter Gleason

    NACD; Director, Nura Health Inc.

  • Holly Gregory

    Global Corporate Governance & Executive Compensation Practice, Sidley Austin LLP

  • Janice Hamby

    National Defense University College of Information and Cyberspace; Director, American Armed Forces Mutual Aid Association, Cubic Corp.

  • Leslie Heisz

    Director, Edwards Lifesciences Corp., Public Storage, Kaiser Permanente

  • Robert Herz

    Director, Fannie Mae, Morgan Stanley, Paxos, Workiva, Sustainability Accounting Standards Board Foundation

  • Dan Hesse

    Director, Akamai Technologies Inc., PNC Financial Services Group Inc.

  • Karen Horn

    Director, NACD, Simon Property Group, National Bureau of Economic Research, US-Russia Foundation for Economic Development

  • Marie Oh Huber

    eBay Inc.; Director, James Campbell Company LLC, Silicon Valley Community Foundation

  • Michael Marino

    Heidrick & Struggles; Director, Board of Governors of the Curry School of Education at the University of Virginia

  • Georgia Nelson

    Director, Ball Corp., Cummins Inc., CH2M, TransAlta Corp., Sims Metal Management

  • Karen Peetz

    McKinsey and Co. (senior advisor); Director, Global Lyme Alliance, Johns Hopkins University Board of Trustees, Wells Fargo & Co.

  • Myrtle Potter

    Director, Axsome Therapeutics Inc., InsMed Inc., Liberty Mutual Group, Proteus Digital Health Inc., RiteAid Corp., University of Chicago Board of Trustees

  • Adalio Sanchez

    Director, ACI Worldwide Inc., Quantum Corp.

  • Linda Sanford

    Director, Consolidated Edison Inc., Pitney Bowes Inc., RELX PLC

  • Gregory Smith

    Director, Lear Corp., Penske Corp.

  • Elizabeth St-Onge

    Oliver Wyman

  • Lauren States

    Director, Clean Harbors Inc., Webster Financial Corp.

  • Robert Stevens

    Director, Monsanto Co., US Steel Corp.

  • David Swinford

    Pearl Meyer

  • John Visentin

    Novitex Enterprise Solutions Inc.; Director, Presidio Inc.

  • Dennis Whalen

    KPMG Board Leadership Center

  • Dona Young

    Director, AEGON NV, Foot Locker Inc., Save the Children

  • Robyn Bew (ex officio)


Tools for Directors

The 2017 Blue Ribbon Commission Report features a range of practical materials directors can use to enhance their oversight of company culture. Available to NACD members, the report’s Toolkit has 15 sections with detailed guidance and tools to help directors benchmark current practices and implement the report’s recommendations, including these:  

  • Boardroom discussion guides with suggested questions on key culture topics
  • Guidelines for developing board-level culture metrics and reporting, including data sources, sample dashboards, and potential culture “red flags”
  • Templates for director guiding principles and director code of conduct
  • Real-world examples of culture survey questions and board disclosures related to culture oversight
To access the complete set of tools
Download the Full Report

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.