NextGen Directors Program

Our Objective

Accelerate shareholder value creation through the development and proactive placement of the next generation of diverse directors.


The Directors Academy provides corporate governance education and training for future board members from diverse backgrounds who are underrepresented on boards of directors via the NextGen Directors program. The goal is to better prepare senior executives for their first board experience. The program is taught by practitioners with extensive board experience in a wide variety of public and private companies, and University of California, Berkeley faculty who address emerging topics of importance to boards.

The nine-month hybrid virtual and in-person program covers a full range of corporate director duties and responsibilities, the work of the full board and each committee, emerging governance issues and best practices exchange, along with panel discussions with CEOs and other key stakeholders. In addition, participants have the opportunity to refine their personal board value propositions and meet with board leaders and executive recruiters to broaden their network and sharpen their ability to connect with board decision makers. As part of the program, each class member has the opportunity to build one-on-one mentoring relationships with existing board leaders.

*Participant fee of $7,500 includes the cost of the program.
Travel and hotel accommodations for any in-person modules are not included in the participant fee.

Please contact Keith Meyer at or
202.292.1840 if you have any questions related to our program plans.


+ Applications for the NextGen Directors Program are currently being accepted.  Please contact Keith Meyer for more information.

+ Please confirm you have the support of your board/CEO to participate in the program.

+ The participant fee is $7,500. Please contact Keith Meyer at or 202.292.1840 if you have any questions related to our program plans.


May 2-3, 2024


May 2 Location: Boston
8:00 AM  Breakfast   
8:30 AM  Program Overview  and  Introductions 
8:45 AM  Director Duties, Responsibilities and Rights
9:30 AM  Board Committees – Their Work and Impact
Audit / Risk / Finance Committees
10:30 AM  Break  
10:45 AM  Human Resources and Compensation Committee 
11:45 PM  Governance and Nominating Committee
12:45 PM  Lunch
1:30 PM  Board Case with Break Outs
3:00 PM  Break  
5:30 PM  Wrap up
6:00 PM  Reception/Dinner


May 3 Location: Boston
8:00 AM  Breakfast
8:30 AM  Building an Effective CEO / Board Relationship 
9:30 AM  Building Effective Board / Investor Relationships
10:30 AM  Break
10:45 AM  Director Selection Process – Insider’s Perspective
11:45 AM  Lunch  
12:15 PM  One-on-One Meetings – Faculty and Board Search Firms
2:00 PM  Wrap up


Dr. Homa Bahrami – Dr. Bahrami is a senior lecturer at the Haas School of Business, University of California, Berkeley, a faculty director at the Haas Center for Executive Education, and has served on the board of the Haas Center for Teaching Excellence. Dr. Bahrami has served on the board of directors of three public technology companies, including Fabrinet, where she is the Nominating and Corporate Governance Committee Chair and Compensation Committee Chair. She is active in executive education and executive development in the U.S., Europe, and Asia.

Marc Baranski – Mr. Baranski is a managing director at Semler Brossy, a leading independent executive compensation consulting firm.  Prior to joining the firm, Mr. Baranski was a principal at Mercer and the investment management segment leader for their human capital business.  He previously was at Sibson where he was the leader of the financial services industry practice and managed their London and Princeton offices.

Sandra Beach Lin – Ms. Lin served as president and chief executive officer of Calisolar, Inc., a solar silicon company, until her retirement. Previously, she held senior leadership roles at Celanese Corporation, Avery Dennison and Alcoa. Ms. Lin currently serves on the boards of American Electric Power (AEP), Avient, Interface Biologics, and Trinseo and is the co-chair of Paradigm for Parity and a member of the National Association of Corporate Directors (NACD) Nominating and Governance Committee Chair Advisory Council. She previously served as board chair of WESCO.

Ryan Cotton – Mr. Cotton joined Bain Capital Private Equity in 2003 and is currently managing director and global head of the consumer/retail vertical. Previously, he served as a consultant at Bain & Company and worked in baseball operations at the Boston Red Sox.

Roxanne Decyk – Ms. Decyk previously served as executive vice president, global government relations of Royal Dutch Shell and held other senior-level positions with Amoco Oil Corporation and Navistar. She currently serves on the board of Maxar Technologies and previously served on the boards of Digital Globe, Ensco, Orbital ATK, and Weatherford International. She also previously chaired the remuneration, governance, nominating and audit committees on a number of European boards. Ms. Decyk also served on the Defense Business Board, a civilian advisory board to the Department of Defense, and has served on the Subcommittee for Capacity Building and Skills Training of the International Council on Women’s Business Leadership for the U.S. State Department.

Patricia Diaz Dennis – Ms. Diaz Dennis joined SBC Communications in 1995 as a senior vice president and assistant general counsel and she served in a variety of positions for the company, which later became AT&T. Prior to SBC/AT&T, Ms. Diaz Dennis served as assistant secretary of state for human rights and humanitarian affairs in 1992-1993. She was also appointed to the National Labor Relations Board in 1983, and as a commissioner of the Federal Communications Commission three years later. Ms. Diaz Dennis previously served on the boards of Entravision Communications, U.S. Steel and Amalgamated Financial Corporation

Carole Faig – Ms. Faig began her nearly 40-year career at EY as an audit partner serving health and life sciences companies.  From 2018-2020, she served as the firm’s U.S. Health Sector Leader and was responsible for scaling the business to $600M while improving brand recognition in the market.  Following her retirement from EY last year, Ms. Faig has been elected to the three boards, Cue Health, a public healthcare technology company where she is the audit committee chair, along with two private corporate boards – QuVa Pharma, a Bain Capital portfolio company where she also serves as audit committee chair, and Affinia Therapeutics, a leading gene therapy company.

Christine Heckart – Ms. Heckart is the chief executive officer and co-founder of Xapa World, a venture-backed biotechnology company, having served as chief executive officer of Scalyr prior to the company’s merger with SentinelOne in February 2021. Previously, she was senior vice president and marketing leader at Cisco and chief marketing officer of Brocade. Prior to joining Brocade, Ms. Heckart served as executive vice president of strategy, marketing, people, and IT at ServiceSource, a provider of cloud applications and services for managing recurring revenue. She was also chief marketing officer at NetApp and Juniper Networks. Ms. Heckart was general manager of Microsoft’s TV, video, and music business and president of TeleChoice. She is currently a member of board of directors at Contentful and SiTime and previously served on the boards of 6sense and Lam Research.

Wayne Hewett – Mr. Hewett is chairman of Cambrex Corporation and formerly chairman of DiversiTech Corporation and chief executive officer of Klockner Pentaplast Group. He previously served as chief executive officer of Arysta LifeScience Corporation prior to the sale of the company to Platform Specialty Products Corporation. Mr. Hewett’s early career included over 20 years with General Electric where he was chief executive officer of GE Advance Materials; president of GE Plastics Pacific and Vice President, Supply Chain and Operations and a member of the company’s Corporate Executive Council. In addition to Cambrex, Mr. Hewett currently serves on the boards of Home Depot, Lytx, UPS and Wells Fargo.

Heather Hiles  Mx. Hiles has served as a member of Udemy’s board of directors and serves as the chair of the Nominating and Corporate Governance Committee. Mx. Hiles currently serves as the founder and managing partner for Imminent Equity, a venture firm funding Black dedicated to nurturing entrepreneurs. Mx. Hiles previously served as the founding chancellor and chief executive officer of Calbright College, an online community college focused on preparation for jobs in the technology industry. Prior to that, Mx. Hiles was the deputy director of Postsecondary Success Solutions at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, a nonprofit organization focused on fighting poverty, disease, and inequity around the world. Mx. Hiles currently serves on the boards of directors for several private companies, including Black Girls Code and Udemy.

Rob Kaplan – Mr. Kaplan served as the twelfth president and CEO of the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas from 2015 to 2021. He represented the Eleventh Federal Reserve District on the Federal Open Market Committee in the formulation of U.S. monetary policy and oversaw 1,200 employees at the Dallas Fed. Mr. Kaplan was previously the Martin Marshall Professor of Management Practice and a Senior Associate Dean at Harvard Business School. Prior to joining Harvard, he spent 23 years at Goldman Sachs serving in various capacities, including vice chairman with global responsibility for the firm’s investment banking and investment management divisions.

Susan Levine – Ms. Levine is a managing director and member of the North American Private Equity team at Bain Capital Private Equity. As head of talent, Ms. Levine leads the human capital agenda across Bain’s North America portfolio which includes ensuring its companies have strong boards and senior leadership teams aligned with each organization’s strategic objectives. Prior to joining Bain Capital, Ms. Levine served as Bain & Company’s director of North America marketing and client development and previously worked at Barents Group, advising clients M&A activities across emerging markets. She currently serves on the board of TI Fluid Systems and previously on the board of Diversey.

Phil LoughlinMr. Loughlin is a partner and the global head of the Financial and Business Services Vertical at Bain Capital. He also is a member of the Consumer/Retail Vertical. Prior to joining Bain Capital Private Equity, Mr. Loughlin was a consultant at Bain & Company. He also served in operating roles at Eagle Snacks, Inc. and Norton Company.

Bob Maricich – Mr. Maricich joined World Market Center in 2008 and continues to serve as chairman and chief executive officer. In 2001, he was instrumental in envisioning and developing the strategy for the creation of International Market Centers, founding the company with sponsors Bain Capital and Oaktree Capital Management. Mr. Maricich successfully raised over $1 billion to purchase the International Home Furnishings Center, ShowPlace properties, and Market Square properties, merging them with World Market Center Last Vegas to form the world’s largest operator of premier showroom space for the furnishing, home décor, and gift industries. Prior to WMC, Mr. Maricich served as CEO of Century Furniture Industries, and president and CEO of American Drew Furniture and American of Martinsville, at the time the largest manufacturer of furniture for the hospitality industry.

Jonathan Mariner – Mr. Mariner served as chief financial officer of Major League Baseball (MLB) from 2002 to 2014 and then chief investment officer until 2016. Following his retirement from MLB, he launched a new app, TaxDay, that tracks the time you spend working or living in different states to facilitate accurate residency reporting when individuals file their tax forms. Mr. Mariner currently serves on the boards of Five9, Overtime Sports, Rocket Companies and Tyson Foods. He previously served on the board of Delware North and  IEX Group.

Bethany Meyer – Ms. Mayer was president and chief executive officer of Ixia from 2014 to the sale of the company to Keysight Technologies in 2017. Prior to Ixia, Ms. Mayer was senior vice president and general manager, HP Networking and chief marketing officer for the enterprise servers, storage, and networking business at HP. She previously held product and program management roles at Cisco, Apple and Lockheed Martin.  Ms. Mayer currently is the board chair at Box and also serves on the Sempra Energy and Lam Research boards.

Kim McCaslin – Ms. McCaslin is a managing director and co-head of the North America Private Equity Portfolio Group at Bain Capital Private Equity and has served on a number of portfolio company boards. Prior to joining Bain Capital, she served as vice president, M&A and corporate development at Capital One Financial. Ms. McCaslin was also a principal at Mercer Management Consulting, where she advised companies across a variety of industries. She began her career at Accenture, focusing on business process redesign and financial systems development projects.

Maria Fernanda Mejia– Ms. Mejía is the former international chief executive officer of Newell Brands, the leading global consumer goods company. Prior to Newell, she vice president of The Kellogg Company and president of Kellogg Latin America after 23 years at the Colgate-Palmolive Company in several progressively more senior global roles across General Management and Marketing. Most notably, she was vice president and general manager of Global Personal Care and Worldwide Fragrance & Flavors Development. Ms. Mejía currently serves on the board of Pepco Group and formerly Bunzl, Grocery Outlet and the International Consolidated Airline Group.

Keith Meyer – Mr. Meyer is the co-founder and president of the Directors Academy, and also the global practice leader of the Board Services Practice at Major, Lindsey and Africa. Mr. Meyer was founder and managing partner of Park Avenue Advisors and previously was vice chairman and managing partner of the Global Board Consulting Practice and co-leader of the North America CEO & Board Practice at Heidrick & Struggles. Mr. Meyer held a variety of operations, corporate development and finance leadership roles with Exxon and PepsiCo. He was also a member of McKinsey’s global Energy Practice. He has previously been named to the D100 list of the most influential people in corporate governance. Mr. Meyer is a founding board member of the Directors Academy.

Mike Millegan – Mr. Millegan served as president of Verizon Global Wholesale group, a business unit of Verizon Communications, where he focused on global carrier, wireless and cable company network requirements from 2007 until his retirement in 2013. Prior to that, Mr. Millegan was senior vice president/market president for Verizon’s Midwest Operations and senior vice president Enterprise/Wholesale business unit. Mr. Millegan also led the Logistics/Supply Chain business unit as the senior vice president from 2000 to 2004. Mr. Millegan is a member of the Axis Capital Holdings, Portland General Electric and Wireless Telecom board of directors, and is a NextGen Directors program alum.

Krista Parsons – Ms. Parsons is an Audit and Assurance managing director in Deloitte’s Center for Board Effectiveness, which is committed to supporting executives, boards of directors, and others active in governance by providing them with resources and knowledge on current boardroom issues and governance trends.  While she works across a broad range of governance-related areas, Ms. Parsons leads Deloitte’s Audit Committee Program and is focused on advising audit committees on their role and responsibilities, recent trends, and emerging topics.

Heather Redman – Ms. Redman is the co-founder and managing partner of Flying Fish Partners, a venture capital firm investing in early-stage software and mixed hardware and software companies, concentrated in artificial intelligence. She is also a member of the boards of Beneficial State Bank, Brooklyn ImmunoTherapeutics, Coldstream Capital Management, and PPL Corporation. She was most recently vice president, operations at Indix and previously served as a senior executive at Summit Power, co-COO at Atom Entertainment, and general counsel at Getty Images and Photodisc.

Merline Saintil – Ms. Saintil is the former chief operating officer at Change Healthcare. She was previously the head of operations for product and technology at Intuit, and managed global teams in a variety of positions at Yahoo, Sun Microsystems, Adobe, PayPal, and Joyent. She currently serves on the board of Gitlab, Lightspeed Commerce and TD Synnex. She is also the Compensation Committee chair for Rocket Lab, Nominative and Governance Committee chair for Symbotic and Nominating and Governance Committee chair for Evolv Technology. She previously served on the boards of Aequi Acquisition Group and Alkami Technology. Ms. Saintil is a NextGen Directors program alum.

Lynn Tetrault – Ms. Tetrault is board chairwoman of NeoGenomics Laboratories and non-executive director of Rhythm Pharmaceuticals. Ms. Tetrault served as executive vice president of Human Resources and Corporate Affairs at AstraZeneca PLC from 2007-2014 and held a variety of other executive roles during her 22-year tenure with the company. She began her career in private law practice in Boston. Ms. Tetrault is a Fellow and Advisory Board Member of the Simmons University Institute for Inclusive Leadership. She serves on the board of directors of Paradigm for Parity, a non-profit organization focused on closing the gender parity gap in corporate leadership. Ms. Tetrault is also the founder of Anahata Leadership, a firm focused on supporting the empowerment and development of women leaders.

James D. White – Mr. White is the former chairman, chief executive officer and president of Jamba Inc. and previously held senior executive roles at Safeway, Gillette and Ralston Purina. Mr. White is an experienced board chair with 20 years of boardroom experience having served on over 16 public, pre-IPO, private and startup boards. He currently serves on several public company boards, including Affirm – where he is lead independent director, Honest Company – where he is board chair, and Cava Group. He is the executive chairman of Air Protein, a startup that makes protein-enriched food from carbon dioxide. Mr. White is also a co-founder and board chair of the Directors Academy.

Chris Wightman– Mr. Wightman is a partner at PJT Camberview, joining PJT Partners in 2018 through the acquisition of Camberview Partners, of which he was a founder. He advises clients on all aspects of corporate governance and shareholder engagement with a focus on shareholder activism, complex proxy voting, and executive compensation matters. Before joining Camberview, Mr. Wightman led the global corporate governance and portfolio compliance oversight programs for Vanguard.

Felicia Williams – Ms. Williams is the Macy’s fellow for the CEO Action for Racial Equity, the largest CEO-driven business commitment to advancing diversity and inclusion in the workplace.  Previously, she held financial leadership roles at Macy’s including interim chief financial officer; executive vice president, controller and enterprise risk officer; and senior vice president, treasury and risk management.  Ms. Williams currently serves on the boards of Realogy Holdings and Meridian Bioscience where she chairs the audit committee.  Prior to joining Macy’s, Ms. Williams served as group controller at Coca-Cola Company and vice president, internal audit at Coca-Cola Hellenic Bottling Company in Greece.

Paul Williams – Mr. Williams currently serves on the boards of Air Transport Services Group, Public Storage, and a group of American Funds boards (part of Capital Group). Previously, Mr. Williams was member of the Romeo Power Compass and Minerals boards, the Nominating and Governance Committee chairman for Essendant and he served as the lead independent director of State Auto Financial Corporation, as well as the Compensation Committee chairman and CEO Search Committee chairman for Bob Evans Restaurants. Mr. Williams served as executive vice president, chief legal officer and secretary of Cardinal Health, a Fortune 20 company, and was the co-leader of the North America Board Practice of Allegis Partners. His career began as a corporate and securities associate with the law firms of Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher and Vorys, Sater, Seymour & Pease. Mr. Williams is also a Directors Academy board member.


Our Advisors advance the Directors Academy mission through the sponsorship and participation of high-performing senior executive talent and access to future board opportunities.

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