Kellogg World Alumni Magazine, Winter 2002Kellogg School of Management
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  Margery Kraus
©2002 James Kegley Photography
Margery Kraus
Reform demands won’t discourage veteran board member from service
Kellogg advisory board member and public affairs consulting expert Margery Kraus has seen the role of director shift during a year in which boards — fairly or unfairly — were often left holding the bag after some high-profile corporate meltdowns.

“Before the events of last year, I think people understood that boards existed, but there wasn’t really this focus on the governance process,” Kraus says. “People knew that boards were there to help give direction to the company, but the landscape was dominated by the CEO.”

Who will lead?
  Diversity in Action
  Reform demands
  Helping companies
  Governance leader

Kraus, president and CEO of Washington, D.C-based global consulting firm APCO Worldwide, says she is concerned that today’s climate of reform and increased scrutiny might discourage talented people from board service.

“One of the things that might happen, and I hope it doesn’t, is that it’s going to get hard to attract high quality directors,” she says. “As people feel that the liability factor gets way out of control, companies will have more difficulty getting good people to serve.”

But Kraus insists increased scrutiny won’t dissuade her from the important task of providing outside guidance to both for-profit companies and nonprofit organizations. In addition to her role on the Dean’s Advisory Board, she serves on several other boards, including those of Northwestern Financial Network, the Catherine B. Reynolds Foundation and the Meridian International Center.

Kellogg’s advisory board, Kraus says, provides a critical link between the school and the “real world,” connecting Kellogg with information about market conditions and current issues in the business world.

“We all aspire to give something back by being on boards, and add our individual knowledge to the larger group and make a difference. When it’s a not-for-profit board, this is probably the highest motivation.”

— KR

©2002 Kellogg School of Management, Northwestern University