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 $6,995 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 not being accepted.  Please continue to follow us for future updates.

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

+ The participant fee is $6,995. Please contact Keith Meyer at or 202.292.1840 if you have any questions related to our  program plans.


Foundational Governance Issues

(Virtual / Session 1) – June 4, 2021


June 4   Discussion Leaders
11:00 AM ET Opening Comments and Introductions Keith Meyer / James White / Dr. Homa Bahrami
11:30 AM ET Director Duties, Responsibilities and Rights Keith Meyer / Derek Liu / Mark Mandel
12:15 PM ET Break  
Board Committees – Their Work and Impact   
12:45 PM ET Audit / Risk / Finance Committees Billie Williamson / Jonathan Mariner / Innocent Shumba /

   Felicia Williams

1:45 PM ET Human Resources and Compensation Committee Patricia Diaz Dennis / Marc Baranski / Mike Millegan /

   Lynn Tetrault

2:30 PM ET Break  
2:45 PM ET Governance and Nominating Committee Paul Williams / Roxanne Decyk / Heather Redman /

   Merline Saintil 

3:30 PM ET 2021 Board Priorities Cigdem Oktem / Wayne Hewett / James White 
4:15 PM ET Wrap up Keith Meyer 


Critical Board Issues

(Virtual / Session 2) – Sept. 30 and Oct. 1, 2021


September 30   Discussion Leaders
11:00 AM ET Fluidity in a Volatile/Uncertain/Complex/Ambiguous World Dr. Homa Bahrami
12:30 PM ET Break
1:00 PM ET Cybersecurity and Digital Transformation Culture Dr. Steve Weber 
2:30 PM ET Wrap up Dr. Homa Bahrami 
October 1
11:00 AM ET Diversity and Inclusion Dr. Kellie McElhaney 
12:30 PM ET Break
1:00 PM ET Environmental Social Governance (ESG) Dr. Robert Strand
2:30 PM ET Wrap up Dr. Homa Bahrami / Keith Meyer 


Board Case & Building Relationships

(In Person / Session 3) – April 27 – 29, 2022


    Discussion Leaders
April 27 Location: Fairmont Claremont Club & Spa
6:30 PM PT Reception / Dinner  
April 28 Location: UC Berkeley, Haas Business  School
8:30 AM PT Welcome and Introductions Keith Meyer
8:45 AM PT Set Up Case and Board Discussion Topic 1 Kim McCaslin / Ryan Cotton / Bob Maricich
9:45 AM PT Board Break Outs  
11:00 AM PT Report Outs Group Discussion
12:00 PM PT Lunch  
1:00 PM PT Set Up Board Discussion Topic 2 Kim McCaslin / Ryan Cotton / Bob Maricich
1:30 PM PT Board Break Outs  
3:00 PM PT Report Outs Group Discussion
4:00 PM PT Board Vision / Priorities / Alignment Rob Kaplan
4:30 PM PT Wrap Up Keith Meyer
4:45 PM PT UC Berkeley Campus Tour (optional) Richard Freishtat
5:45 PM PT Reception
6:15 PM PT Dinner Board Vision / Priorities / Alignment Discussion –

   Rob Kaplan

April 29
Location: UC Berkeley, Haas Business School  
8:30 AM PT Overview of the Day Keith Meyer / Dr. Homa Bahrami
8:45 AM PT Building an Effective Board / CEO Relationship James White / Christine Heckart / Bob Maricich 
9:30 AM PT Building Effective Board / Investor Relationships Dr. Homa Bahrami / Kim McCaslin / Enrique Salem /

   Chris Wightman

10:15 AM PT Break  
10:30 AM PT Insider’s Perspective of Board Search Process Keith Meyer / Susan Levine / Mike Millegan
11:30 AM PT Lunch / One-on-One Meetings  Individual participant discussions with Academy faculty  and Board search firms
2:00 PM PT Wrap up Keith Meyer / Dr. Homa Bahrami


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. 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 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,Trinseo, and WESCO, 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.

Robyn Bew – Ms. Bew is the west region leader for EY’s Center for Board Matters, where she represents the firm at director events and roundtables and is a leader in the region’s initiatives to advance board diversity. She joined EY from the National Association of Corporate Directors (NACD) and has been a featured speaker and writer on governance topics.

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 DecykMs. 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 DennisMs. 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 is currently a director of Amalgamated Bank and Entravision Communications.

Matthew Hanson – Mr. Hanson joined Bain Capital Private Equity in 2015 and currently serves as vice president and member of the portfolio group for North America Private Equity. Prior to joining Bain Capital, he worked as a consultant at Bain & Company.

Christine Heckart – Ms. Heckart is the CEO and co-founder of Xapa World, a venture-backed biotechnology company, having served as CEO 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, UPS and Wells Fargo.

Robert 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.

Steve Klemash – Mr. Klemash is the former Americas leader for EY’s Center for Board Matters. Previously, he served as the Managing Partner-Accounts for the Central Region of EY where he managed a $2.4 billion revenue stream that integrated the firm’s Assurance, Tax, Transaction Advisory Services and Advisory service lines.  Mr. Klemash serves on the board of Owens & Minor and he is a member of the Board of Trustees at Robert Morris University and a past board member of the United Way of Allegheny County, the Pittsburgh Technology Council, the Pittsburgh Regional Alliance, Pittsburgh Venture Capital Association and the Pittsburgh Chapter of the Association for Corporate Growth.

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 boards of Diversey and TI Fluid Systems.

Derek Liu – Mr. Liu is a partner in Baker McKenzie’s San Francisco office. He handles mergers and acquisitions, complex corporate transactions, and has worked on transactions with an aggregate transaction value of more than $100 billion. Prior to joining Baker McKenzie, Mr. Liu practiced law at two top-tier firms in San Francisco and New York.

Mark Mandel – Mr. Mandel is a partner in the Corporate & Securities Practice of Baker McKenzie’s New York office. Mr. Mandel advises public and private companies with investments, mergers, acquisitions, divestitures, unsolicited and friendly tender offers, joint ventures, public offerings and private placements, and restructurings. He also advises boards of directors on corporate governance and fiduciary duties.

Robert 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 is the chief administrative officer and chief people officer for Enjoy Technology. He previously 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 Delaware North, Enjoy Technology, IEX Group, Rocket Companies and Tyson Foods.

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.

Dr. Kellie McElhaney – Dr. McElhaney is currently a distinguished teaching fellow and the founding director of the Center for Equity, Gender and Inclusion at the Haas School of Business at the University of California, Berkeley. She is also the founder of the Center for Responsible Business. Prior to moving to academia, she worked in retail banking specifically in commercial lending, acquisitions, and corporate leadership development. Dr. McElhaney currently serves on the board of Sierra Global Management.

Keith Meyer – Mr. Meyer is the co-founder and president of the Directors Academy, and also the global head of the CEO & Board Practice and co-leader of the Leadership Practice at Allegis Partners. 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.

Cigdem Oktem – Ms. Oktem is a regional leader for EY’s Center for Board Matters, where she supports clients on governance issues. She has 20 years of experience advising boards and c-suite executives on governance, strategy, and finance matters. Prior to EY, Ms. Oktem managed and delivered audit chair educational programs at Tapestry Networks.

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.

Santiago Rodriguez – Mr. Rodriguez is a private equity analyst at Bain Capital Private Equity.  He holds a bachelor’s degree from Stanford University.

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 Aequi Acquisition Group, Alkami Technology, Banner Bank, Evolv Technologies, Gitlab, Lightspeed Commerce, Rocket Lab and TD Synnex. Ms. Saintil is a NextGen Directors program alum.

Enrique Salem – Mr. Salem is a partner at Bain Capital Ventures, where he focuses on infrastructure software and services with a specialization in cybersecurity. He was previously the president and CEO of Symantec and Brightmail, a leading anti-spam software company, prior to its acquisition. In 2011, Ms. Salem was appointed to President Barack Obama’s Management Advisory Board. He currently serves on the boards of several portfolio companies, including DocuSign, and serves independently on the boards of Mandiant and Atlassian.

Innocent Shumba – Mr. Shumba is an EY assurance partner and the firm’s U.S.-West Private Leader.  He has 20 years of experience serving private and publicly held technology companies ranging from pre-IPO entities to large multi-nationals.  Mr. Shumba grew up in Zimbabwe and received a bachelor’s and a master’s degree in Accounting from BYU.

Dr. Robert Strand – Dr. Strand is the executive director of the Center for Responsible Business and a lecturer at the Berkeley Haas School of Business. He was a Fulbright Scholar to Norway from 2005-2006, and prior to joining academia was an industrial engineer for Boston Scientific and IBM.

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.

Dr. Steve Weber – Dr. Weber is a professor at the School of Information and Political Science Department at University of California, Berkeley where he works at the intersection of technology markets, intellectual property regimes, and international politics. He is a director with the Center for Long Term Cybersecurity, a not-for-profit research and collaboration hub housed in the UC Berkeley School of Information. Previously he served as special consultant to the president of the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development. He is a frequent contributor to scholarly and public debates on international relations and U.S. foreign policy and has advised multinational companies, government agencies, and non-profit organizations on risk analysis, strategy, and business forecasting.

James D. WhiteMr. 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 Simply Good Foods. He is 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.

Felicia WilliamsMs. 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, Compass Minerals, Public Storage, Romeo Power and a group of American Funds boards (part of Capital Group). He is also the president of the Chicago Chapter of the National Association of Corporate Directors (NACD). Previously, Mr. Williams was the Nominating and Governance Committee chairman for Essendant. He has 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. Previously Mr. Williams served as executive vice president, chief legal officer and secretary of Cardinal Health, a Fortune 20 company, and 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 a Directors Academy board member.

Billie Williamson – Ms. Williamson has over three decades of experience auditing public companies as a partner of EY. In addition, she served as senior vice president, finance and corporate controller of Marriott International and chief financial officer of AMX Corporation. While at EY, Ms. Williamson served as the Americas Inclusiveness Officer, a member of its Americas Executive Board and head of the Center for Strategic Transactions in the southwest region. Ms. Williamson has served on numerous public and private company boards, including Annie’s, Beneficient Company Group LP, CSRA, Cricut, Cushman & Wakefield, Energy Future Holdings, ITT Exelis, Janus Capital Group, Kraton, Pentair, Pharos Capital and XL Catlin. Ms. Williamson is 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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