Board Institute

2016 Panelists Alan Schnitzer, Frances Fragos Townsend, Jean-Paul Montupet, Hillary Sale, Janet Hill, Laura Weil, and Herman Bulls

The annual Board Institute is a key way in which DirectWomen fulfills its mission. The goal of this annual two-day program is to position an elite group of exceptional senior women lawyers for service as directors of major U.S. corporations. 

Each year, DirectWomen identifies a small group of leading women lawyers from around the country to participate in the Board Institute based on an assessment of their ability to provide the experience, independence, and business judgment required for board effectiveness. The Institute is Chaired by Professor Hillary A. Sale. The Board Institute provides working sessions designed to help participants develop their value proposition and personal board-search strategies. At the Board Institute, the class meets with an extraordinary faculty comprised of CEOs, C-suite executives, and directors of public companies to discuss key issues facing corporate directors about governance, corporate purpose, risk management, and other relevant topics. The class also meets with DirectWomen honorees and alumnae, many of whom have extensive board experience. The Board Institute also provides opportunities to learn from senior search firm executives. 

The application for the 2021 Board Institute is now closed. To be notified when the application for the 2022 Board Institute opens, please email [email protected].

Nearly 215 women have participated in the Board Institute over the past 14 years and provide a rich pool of director candidates. Past Board Institute classes have been comprised of General Counsel of Fortune 500 companies, partners at top law firms, and leading lawyers from government and academia. These distinguished women lawyers represent a wide range of business knowledge and experience in their industries, which include finance, energy, retail, media, and pharmaceuticals, among others. To learn more about DirectWomen’s Board Institute alumnae, visit our alumnae biography and resume database.

The 2019 Board Institute was held from October 2 to 4, 2019, in New York City. Click here to see the full 2019 Board Institute class and here to view our 2019 Board Institute agenda.


Kathleen Wilson-Thompson

Kathleen Wilson-Thompson is senior vice president and chief human resources officer for Walgreen Co., headquartered in Deerfield, Illinois. Ms. Wilson-Thompson joined Walgreens in January 2010. She held several positions for Kelloggs

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Susan Tomasky

Susan Tomasky has held numerous leadership positions in the energy industry, government and the Ohio business community. She served in several senior executive positions at American Electric Power, including President,

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Susan S. Lanigan

Susan Lanigan has 30 years of professional experience, including more than 20 as a senior executive of three publicly-traded retail companies and as a current member of the boards of

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