Women's Director Development Program

How to unlock boardroom doors and govern with confidence

With a rigorous, research-based curriculum, this corporate director development program teaches the skills senior women executives need to serve successfully as board members and offers practical guidance for landing a seat at the table. Designed and powered by the Kellogg Center for Executive Women, the program serves as both a boot camp and gateway for women who aspire to serve on boards and those looking to expand their range of directorship opportunities.

In a collaborative, supportive environment, you’ll interact one-on-one with experienced board directors and senior Kellogg School faculty as you develop a deep understanding of board responsibilities, structures and strategies and practice the specific skills required to contribute meaningfully. You’ll come away fully prepared to reach for and excel at the highest level of corporate governance.

Kellogg Executive
Leadership Institute

Victoria Medvec / Academic Director


Who Should Attend

  • Senior women executives seeking directorships
  • Women directors seeking opportunities on Fortune 1000 boards
  • Women with the financial literacy, business acumen, perspective and experience necessary to perform well in a governance role

Key Benefits

  • Broaden your understanding of the operations, roles and structures of boards
  • Assimilate and analyze critical, complex decision-making information
  • Learn to detect red flags and read between the lines in financial statements
  • Maximize your credibility and contributions as a board member
  • Increase visibility with executive search firms and nominating committees

Program Content

Characteristics of the Most Effective Boards and Board Members

  • Understanding operations, roles and structure
  • Exploring critical roles of directors in:
    • Selecting, compensating, evaluating and overseeing the CEO
    • Strategy and change
    • Mergers and acquisitions
    • Crisis management
  • Examining emerging governance challenges and trends
  • Maintaining ethical standards

Making the Best Decisions

  • Gather and analyze information to maximize your contributions in meetings
  • Ask the right questions
  • Interpret and assess balance sheets, income statements, cash-flow statements, notes and auditor reports
  • Synthesize performance information, effectively applying it to identify and anticipate problems and shape solutions

Making the Nominating Committee Radar Screen

  • Understand what search firms and nominating committees are seeking
  • Build credibility, evaluate board opportunities and select the right boards to join

Special Feature:

Women’s Director Database Listing

As a participant in this program, you can create your individual profile in the Kellogg Center for Executive Women’s Director Database, an extensive repository of information on exceptionally well-qualified female board candidates. The center makes this exclusive search tool available to corporations, nominating committees and search firms seeking to identify and reach out to potential female directors.


Victoria Medvec - Academic Director; Adeline Barry Davee Professor of Management & Organizations; Executive Director of the Center for Executive Women

Marian Powers - Adjunct Professor of Executive Education

Brian Uzzi - Richard L. Thomas Professor of Leadership and Organizational Change; Co-Director, Northwestern Institute on Complex Systems (NICO); Faculty Director, Kellogg Architectures of Collaboration Initiative (KACI); Professor of Industrial Engineering and Management Sciences, McCormick School (Courtesy); Professor of Sociology, Weinberg College (Courtesy)

Edward Zajac - James F. Bere Professor of Management & Organizations

What Participants Say

“The instructors were provocative, the pace intense and the accommodations delightful. What made the program excellent, however, was being with an elite group of women with so much shared experience. I highly recommend the experience to women interested in furthering their development for board service.”
VP Environmental, Health and Safety, Ashland, Inc.

“A timely, invaluable component of my personal and professional development. Within a few short months of attending the program, partly based on my experience at Kellogg, I was nominated to serve as an employee-director on the board of my company, a Fortune 500 global infrastructure services provider. I look forward to applying the lessons I learned during the Kellogg program so I can participate and add value right away.”
Senior Vice President, Corporate Affairs, CH2M HILL

“In the past year I have attended board programs at three leading U.S. business schools and by far Kellogg's Women's Director Program was the most effective program that I've attended. I am leaving with tangible action plan and high confidence level that I have for strategies to be successful in selecting a corporate board position at a leading public company.”
Partner, PwC

Personal Consultation

Please email or call us if you would like a personal consultation

Upcoming Sessions

November 1-3, 2017

Start: November 1 at 11:30 AM

End: November 3 at 2:30 PM

LOCATION: Evanston Campus

This Approval Program is limited to individuals with specific business experience. All applications will be subject to review and approval from the program’s Academic Director.


Fee includes lodging and most meals

Kellogg School of Management

James L. Allen Center
2169 Campus Drive, Evanston, IL 60208