NACD to Offer New Certification Program for Corporate Directors

4/2/2019, 4:00 PM (Source: GlobeNewswire)

As the Responsibilities and Expectations of Corporate Board Members Continue to Expand,
NACD Program Will Equip Directors with the Knowledge and Skills to Lead with Confidence

WASHINGTON, April 02, 2019 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- The National Association of Corporate Directors (NACD), the authority on boardroom practices representing more than 20,000 board members, today announced that it will offer a new certification program that will affirm one’s knowledge to serve as a corporate director and advance NACD’s mission to elevate the profession of directorship. The voluntary program, entitled the NACD Certification of Professional DirectorshipTM, will launch in October 2019.

The program, in conjunction with the domain expertise and business judgment an individual brings from their own professional career and the information they receive from a company’s own director-onboarding program, helps to provide a holistic base of skills and knowledge that will allow new directors to contribute to the board’s work on day one. For experienced directors who are passionate about continuing education, this program offers a path to formalize that education and become an NACD Certified Professional DirectorTM, a nationally recognized certification. The new program will include a certification exam—created by and for directors—which will cover the key areas of governance. The program will require continuing education to maintain the certification.

“The job of being a director is increasing in complexity,” said Peter R. Gleason, president and CEO of NACD. “NACD’s director certification will enable new and prospective board members to enhance their competence and showcase their understanding of key board responsibilities. By doing so, it will create a much broader pool of board-ready public company director candidates.”

NACD embarked on the development of this certification program to provide a tangible measurement of the essential knowledge required to lead in today’s boardrooms. Certification also facilitates continuous learning and allows directors to showcase their governance knowledge to the companies they serve and to other stakeholders in the broader governance community.

To provide guidance and direction for the new certification program, NACD has formed and is leveraging a steering committee of highly experienced corporate directors and corporate governance practitioners:

  • Dennis Beresford, Former Chair of the FASB; Former Director, Fannie Mae, Kimberly Clark, and Legg-Mason
  • Michele Hooper, Director, PPG Industries, United Continental Holdings, and UnitedHealth Group
  • Glenn Hubbard, Director, Automated Data Processing (ADP), MetLife, and BlackRock Closed-End Funds; Dean of Columbia Business School
  • Simon Lorne, Director, Teledyne Technologies; Vice Chair and Chief Legal Officer, Millennium Management; Former General Counsel, US Securities and Exchange Commission
  • Bill McNabb, Former Board Chair and CEO, Vanguard; Director of UnitedHealth Group; Executive in Residence at the Raj & Kamla Gupta Governance Institute, LeBow College of Business 
  • Myron Steele, Former Chief Justice of the Delaware Supreme Court; Partner, Potter Anderson & Corroon LLP
  • Dona Young, Lead Director, Foot Locker; Member of the Supervisory Board, Aegon, NV; Director, NACD

To ensure that the new certification program assesses all aspects of corporate directors’ roles and responsibilities, NACD has also convened 2,000 corporate directors of various backgrounds and experiences to help define the knowledge, skills, and abilities upon which NACD’s certification will be based.

“A formal certification is the next logical step in preparing directors for the increasing responsibilities they assume in today’s high-stakes business environment,” said Karen Horn, director of the Simon Property Group and NACD board chair. “My colleagues and I are honored to advise on the architecting of this program.”

“The expectations for board members continue to expand at a rapid pace and require significant knowledge and perspective to add strategic value to the enterprise. The NACD certification program will give existing and prospective directors an advantage to showcase their leadership to investors and relevant stakeholders,” said Bill McNabb, Former Board Chair and CEO, Vanguard Group; Director of UnitedHealth Group; Executive in Residence at the Raj & Kamla Gupta Governance Institute, LeBow College of Business.

For more information about the NACD Certification of Professional Directorship, please visit:

About NACD
The National Association of Corporate Directors (NACD) empowers more than 20,000 directors to lead with confidence in the boardroom. As the recognized authority on leading boardroom practices, NACD helps boards strengthen investor trust and public confidence by ensuring that today’s directors are well prepared for tomorrow’s challenges. World-class boards join NACD to elevate performance, gain foresight, and instill confidence. Fostering collaboration among directors, investors, and corporate governance stakeholders, NACD has been setting the standard for responsible board leadership for more than 40 years. To learn more about NACD, visit

Susan Oliver

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