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Board Institute

Janice Reals Ellig speaks at the 2014 Board Institute

The centerpiece of the DirectWomen initiative is the DirectWomen Board Institute, an annual two-day program providing an orientation and update on key issues facing current and future directors. The goal is to position an elite group of exceptional senior women lawyers for service as directors of major U.S. corporations.

Approximately 20 women attorneys are selected each year to attend the DirectWomen Board Institute. The Institute is Chaired by Professor Hillary A. Sale. The Institute faculty features leading experts on corporate governance and experienced directors. The program covers topics including the role and work of nominating and corporate governance committees, the evolving nature of shareholder relations, the strategic role of audit committees and the role of executive search firms in board searches. In addition, the Institute affords participants the opportunity to network with DirectWomen alumnae and honorees as well as top representatives of executive search firms.

Our next Board Institute will be held from October 18 to 20, 2017 in New York City. Please contact Beth Barefoot ( with any questions. 

Information about the application process for the 2017 Board Institute is available here. The application period for the 2017 Board Institute, which will be held October 18-20, 2017 in New York, recently closed. Application information for the 2018 Board Institute will be posted in Summer 2017. If you would like to be contacted when the application next opens, please contact Beth Barefoot ( 

Click here to download the Class of 2017 Board Institute press release, which includes the names of our 2017 participants, here to view our 2016 Board Institute agenda, and here to view information about our Board Institute faculty. 

Success Stories

Ann Harlan

Ann joined the board of the Gorman-Rupp Company in 2009. Learn more

Deborah Golden

Deborah Golden joined the board of Midland States Bancorp, Inc. in 2015. Learn more

Kimberly Ellwanger

Kimberly joined the board of Heritage Financial Corporation and Heritage Bank in 2006. Learn more