The Conference Board Governance Center

Exec Director: The Conference Board Governance Center

The Conference Board Governance CenterThe Conference Board Governance Center’s current executive director, Donna Dabney, is retiring at the end of the year. It would be great to get someone of her high caliber to fill the position. Please inform your well-qualified colleagues of this great opportunity

The Conference Board Governance Center®

The Conference Board Governance Center® facilitates small groups of prominent senior executives from companies, investors, and advisors for confidential discussions of key issues. The Executive Director leads the Governance Center, develops and executes its strategy to position the center as a globally recognized thought leader in the corporate governance space, sets and delivers the center’s research agenda, disseminates research findings, and serves its members.

Executive Director Responsibilities: The Conference Board Governance Center®

Thought Leadership

  • Identify leading issues and trends and build/expand the necessary capabilities to execute initiatives around these issues to continue positioning The Conference Board Governance Center as a thought leader in the field of corporate governance.  
  • Set The Conference Board Governance Center’s research agenda in close consultation with center members and its advisory committee and ensure its funding.
  • Ensure The Conference Board Governance Center’s Knowledge function approves the quality of published center research.
  • Ensure the dissemination of center research and make substantive presentations to center members and to The Conference Board Governance Center associate and council members, academies, conferences and other constituents through the various content distribution channels including written reports, briefings and webcasts.
  • Be The Conference Board Governance Center’s chief public spokesperson addressing the media and answering questions from the general public as appropriate.


  • Maintain and further develop the center’s tiered membership model that is embedded in The Conference Board’s overall membership strategy and balances adequately member benefits and membership fees.
  • Serve The Conference Board Governance Center’s key audiences including members, sponsors, investors, directors, advisors, governance experts, membership organizations, service providers, industry media, and others.
  • Expand The Conference Board Governance Center globally by promoting center membership through The Conference Board’s business development processes in the respective regions, U.S., Europe and Asia.


  • Oversee activities of The Conference Board Governance Center including center operations, managing and developing center staff, procuring internal services from The Conference Board’s corporate functions and external consultants.  
  • Prepare The Conference Board Governance Center’s annual budget and monthly forecasts in collaboration with the corporate finance function and ensure that financial objectives are met.
  • Maintain and expand revenues from membership to ensure full funding of The Conference Board Governance Center’s staffing, research agenda, programs and initiatives.
  • Oversee the Governance Watch webcast program; ensure relevant topics and attractive speakers and panel members.
  • Oversee relevant marketing and promotional materials in collaboration with the marketing function, and support the business development processes if and when needed.


  • Broad understanding of and intellectual curiosity around corporate governance themes with an ability to identify key issues and trends combined with an ability to conceptualize and translate those into governance programs.
  • Minimum 10 years of experience  in roles  such as governance officer, corporate secretary, general counsel, senior executive responsible for governance, or provision of governance advice, in a shareholder organization, accounting firm, academic governance center, or shareholder membership organization, or senior executive responsible for governance policy review and development at rating or advisory firm.
  • Significant experience in interacting collaboratively with a broad network of individuals, including directors, senior executives, governance professionals, and service providers.
  • Entrepreneurial spirit enabling the individual to develop and take ownership of initiatives and raise funds to support the activities of the Governance Center.
  • Proven track record in running operations including formulating the mission, longer- and short term objectives, preparing and executing strategic plans and annual budgets to achieve those set objectives.
  • Ability to work as the leader of a small team and provide the expertise and guidance to the larger organization in a range of areas needed for success including marketing and analysis.
  • Forming, developing and maintaining a highly engaged and highly performing team that is aligned with the center’s and The Conference Board’s overall strategic goals.
  • Experience working with public company boards of directors preferred.
  • Excellent academic credentials, Juris Doctor preferred.


The Executive Director has two staff members covering center operations, business development and logistical & administrative support. The function itself reports into the Senior Vice President, General Counsel and Corporate Secretary.

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