The application for the 2018 Board Institute is now open! Please contact Beth Barefoot ( with any questions.

General Information

The 2018 Board Institute will take place on October 10-12, 2018 in New York City. The Institute will open with a Wednesday evening cocktail reception and conclude with the Sandra Day O'Connor Board Excellence Award Luncheon on Friday. Attendance at all Institute sessions, panels and related functions is mandatory. If you are applying, we suggest that you hold these dates on your calendar.

Pre-Institute assignments are used to prepare participants in order to best make use of the limited time during the Institute. These include focused preparation of a board bio, board resume, and elevator speech. You should expect that this work will require up to ten hours per month in the months leading up to the Institute. Three mandatory pre-Institute calls will guide you through the preparation of these materials, and provide other information regarding the Institute.

There is an Institute fee of $3,500 for those selected to participate in the Board Institute. Full payment of the fee must be submitted within one month of acceptance to the 2018 Institute. We anticipate that selected participants will be notified by February 28, 2018.

If you have additional questions about DirectWomen, the Board Institute, or its application process, please contact Beth Barefoot at, or (202) 360-9450.

Application Instructions

  • The application period for the 2018 Board Institute is September 1 to December 1, 2017.  The application must be filled out at this site. To apply, create an account, and ensure that the following application components are uploaded to FluidReview by 11:59 p.m. EST on December 1:
  • A current resume. Please make sure that your resume includes your basic contact information, employment information, including current position/title, major contributions in your current job and two most recent jobs, education history, and leadership positions or industry associations.
  • A current headshot.
  • A completed application form. The application form is available online at Progress may be saved, so you do not need to complete the application in one sitting.
  • Two letters of reference. The most effective references are usually from a CEO, board chair, or the managing partner of a law firm. References are given substantial weight in the selection process. Reference letters should include a description of your qualifications for board service, and an evaluation of your business skills and strategic judgment. Applicants are responsible for making sure reference letters are received by the due date. Reference letters can be uploaded directly by applicants, or emailed to Beth Barefoot at
  • Payment of the $150 application fee. Applications will not be considered unless the application fee has been paid.