Corporate Governance: Essentials for a New Business Era

The Wharton School

The Wharton School

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Who should attend

This program is for:

  • Senior-level women or minority executives who aspire to board service or have recently joined a board
  • C-suite executives including general counsels, chief technology officers, chief financial officers, chief human resource officers, chief risk officers, and chief sustainability officers
  • Partner-level attorneys in law firms with experience in corporate investigations, mergers/acquisitions, and compliance
  • Leaders of major nonprofit organizations and academic institutions
  • Board members who wish to become better informed and more productive in their role
  • Members of governance and nominations committees seeking to diversify their boards
  • Corporate secretaries
  • Institutional investors

About the course

Today’s corporate boards face historic and unprecedented challenges, including the global pandemic and its economic fallout, civil unrest, cybersecurity threats, the #MeToo movement, and more. Boards of directors must navigate these sources of unexpected enterprise risk while capably monitoring their firms’ financial performance. For those responsible for filling board seats, the push toward making boards more diverse and inclusive adds complexity. Meanwhile, new opportunities are emerging for those seeking board service.

Corporate Governance: Essentials for a New Business Era provides critical tools for aspiring, newly appointed, and veteran board members, and for executives working with their board or other boards. Participants will gain insight into the duties and nuances of board service, and learn to forge partnerships with company officers to strengthen financial return, enterprise risk management, and governance diversity.

Program Experience

Highlights and Key Outcomes

In Corporate Governance: Essentials for a New Business Era, you will:

  • Explore board opportunities for C-suite officers in areas including technology, human resources, and sustainability
  • Grasp how a director’s role is changing in today’s social, legal, and business environment
  • Learn to present yourself as an attractive candidate for boards
  • Look inside the process for nominating, selecting, and onboarding directors

Experience and Impact

Traditional board governance is a thing of the past. Today’s directors must be ready and able to handle a wide range of enterprise risks that could impact a large company. Led by top Wharton management faculty, Corporate Governance: Essentials for a New Business Era offers those aspiring to be on boards, recently appointed to a board, or experienced directors and company executives a wide-ranging look at what constitutes successful board service in the current environment. The specific content of the program will also be informed by the year’s most pressing issues. The focus in 2020 will include company and legal issues related to diversity and inclusion; environmental, social, and governance (ESG) metrics; and leading in the boardroom.

Participants will explore how to present themselves as candidates for boards against the backdrop of social and legislative efforts to make boards more ethnically diverse and gender inclusive. You will also learn about the functional capabilities that are valued on boards, including strategy, technology, human resources, sustainability, and international experience. You will acquire strategies for marketing yourself to recruiters and come to recognize the value you can bring to a boardroom setting.

Individuals already on boards will gain new insights into managing emerging sources of enterprise risk and how best to diversify their board to address new regulations and investor expectations.

In addition to the outstanding faculty, selected guest speakers will enhance the program’s practical, real-world approach. Speakers may include veteran board chairs and lead directors; a federal prosecutor who has conducted internal investigations for major telecommunications and financial firms; and an executive-search partner experienced in board recruitment and onboarding.

A valuable benefit of this program is the substantial networking opportunity. You will have time to interact with seasoned and board-ready individuals from a wide variety of backgrounds and experience, providing for an expanded peer group. The need has never been greater for board members with new perspectives and experience. Timely and unique, Corporate Governance helps you take full advantage of the rapidly changing environment for both board selection and director responsibilities.

Session topics include:

  • Enterprise challenges and risks including climate change, job displacement, global trade, disease epidemics, and social responsibility
  • Creating opportunities for those who have been underrepresented in the boardroom
  • Characteristics of successful board leaders
  • Overseeing management
  • Building diversity, equity, and inclusion in the boardroom
  • Leading boards through legal issues and other crises
  • Succession planning
  • Bringing environmental and social issues into the boardroom
  • Designing political and social strategies
  • Shareholder activism

Experts

Michael Useem

Education: PhD, Harvard University; MA, Harvard University; BS, University of Michigan. Academic Appointment: William and Jacalyn Egan Professor of Management, 1997. Director, Wharton Center for Leadership and Change Management, 1996. Recent Consulting: Numerous programs on leadership, decision m...

Witold Henisz

Witold J. Henisz is the Deloitte & Touche Professor of Management in Honor of Russell E. Palmer, former Managing Director at The Wharton School, The University of Pennsylvania. He received his Ph.D. in Business and Public Policy from the Haas School of Business at University of California, Be...

Nancy Rothbard

Professor Nancy Rothbard received her A.B. from Brown University and her Ph.D. in Organizational Behavior from the University of Michigan. She is the David Pottruck Professor of Management and Chair, Management Department, at the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School. Prior to joining the f...

Peter Cappelli

Peter Cappelli is the George W. Taylor Professor of Management at The Wharton School and Director of Wharton’s Center for Human Resources.  He is also a Research Associate at the National Bureau of Economic Research in Cambridge, MA, served as Senior Advisor to the Kingdom of Bahrain for Employme...

Emilie Feldman

Emilie R. Feldman is an Associate Professor of Management at the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania. She graduated magna cum laude from Harvard College, where she studied Economics and French Literature, and she received her MBA and DBA in Strategy from the Harvard Business School. ...

Mary-Hunter McDonnell

Professor MaryHunter ("Mae") McDonnell received her Ph.D. in Management and Organizations from Northwestern University's Kellogg School of Management, a J.D. from Harvard Law School, and a B.A. in Philosophy from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.  She is an Assistant Professor of M...

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Corporate Governance: Essentials for a New Business Era at The Wharton School

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