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Summit 2025

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Directors Summit will return February 20-21, 2025

Registration will open Fall of 2024


February 20-21, 2025
Check back for more information


Guggenheim Theatre
@ UCSD’s Park & Market

1100 Market Street San Diego, CA 92101
Click for Hotel Information

Ticket Information

Members: $495
Non-Members: $595

Individual ticket sales are intended for current and former board members or company executives.

Join Us at Our Next
Directors Summit in 2025

Gain insights on new approaches to navigate leadership from the top, manage disruptive technology, consider risk, and exchange candid views on what is working with peers and experts.

Don’t miss this opportunity to gather and network with fellow directors, senior leaders, and key stakeholders as we discuss the future of modern leadership.

Registration will open September 2024

See 2024's Directors Summit
Keynote Speakers

Directors Summit Keynote Speakers

Corporate Directors Forum is pleased to introduce this year’s keynote speakers!

Founder, Boggs Media, LLC; Fmr. Executive Vice President, General Counsel and Secretary, Starbucks Corporation; Director, Various

Paula Boggs

Managing Director, The ExCo Group; New York Times Bestselling Author; Fmr. Journalist, The New York Times

Adam Bryant

President & CEO, BSR; Director, We Mean Business Coalition; Author

Aron Cramer

Partner & Co-Chair, Global Corporate Governance & Executive Compensation Practice, Sidley Austin LLP

Holly J. Gregory

Founder, Boggs Media, LLC; Fmr. Executive Vice President, General Counsel and Secretary, Starbucks Corporation; Director, Various

Paula Boggs

Paula Boggs served as Executive Vice President, General Counsel and Secretary at Starbucks Corporation from 2002 to Paula Boggs is the founder of Boggs Media, LLC, a business that manages her music, speaking, and other creative business activities. She is a Tedx©Speaker, Writer, Lawyer, Army Veteran, and Musician. She is also a Board Member of numerous organizations.

Paula Boggs served as Executive Vice President, General Counsel and Secretary at Starbucks Corporation from 2002 to 2012. In 2009, NASDAQ© named her its top general counsel. Her prior professional experience includes serving as Vice President Legal at Dell Computer Corporation, and as a partner at the law firm of Preston Gates & Ellis, LLP. She also had a 14-year career in public service, including as an Assistant

U.S. Attorney, and in various capacities as an attorney for the U.S. Army, the Department of Defense and the White House Office of Legal Counsel. She served eight years as a Regular Officer in the United States Army, earned Army Airborne wings and a Congressional appointment to the US Naval Academy – among America’s first women to do so.

Paula Boggs is a graduate of the University of California at Berkeley School of Law and earned a bachelor’s degree in International Studies from Johns Hopkins University.

She was also an adjunct professor at the University of Washington School of Law.

Since leaving Starbucks, Paula Boggs gives speeches across the United States and beyond, writes essays and music, co-produces albums for, and tours extensively with, Paula Boggs Band. In 2013, President Obama appointed her to the President’s Committee on the Arts and the Humanities, in 2018 she received the Seattle Mayor’s Arts Award and in 2021 Southwestern University (Georgetown, TX) conferred an honorary Doctor of Laws.

Paula Boggs owns several U.S. Copyrights and is a Voting Member and Board Governor of The Recording Academy, Pacific Northwest Chapter.

Her current civic and professional activities include:

Current Boards: Avid Technology, Inc. (NASDAQ, 2015-Present); Seattle Symphony (2017-Present); American Bar Foundation; member, Peabody Institute of The Johns Hopkins University National Advisory Board; YMCA of Greater Seattle, Life Board; Recording Academy, Governor to the Pacific Northwest Chapter Board; Newport Festivals Foundation, Inc.

Past Boards:

Fender Musical Instruments Corporation (2021); Member, President’s Committee on the Arts and the Humanities (2014-2017); KEXP (Public Radio Station affiliated with University of Washington): Advisory Council & Board (2007-2017), Board Secretary, Co-

Chair Capital Campaign; Johns Hopkins University Board of Trustees (1998-2016): Past Chair, Audit & Insurance Committee, Chair, Student Life Committee, member of Executive and Academic Affairs Committees; Co-Chair, JHU Legacy Society; Member, JHU Capital Campaign Executive Committee; Santa Fe University of Art and Design, Business Programs Advisory Board (2016-2017); American Bar Association Board of Governors; American Bar Association House of Delegates; American Red Cross National Board of Governors; Sterling Financial Corporation (NASDAQ); White House Council for Community Solutions; School of Rock LLC; Premera Blue Cross: Chaired, Investment and Compensation Committees; Pinnacle Holdings Inc. (NASDAQ); Seattle Art Museum; Association of Corporate Counsel; Georgetown (TX) Economic Development Commission: Chair, 2001-2002; Georgetown (TX) Public Library Foundation; Vice-Chair 1998-2000, Greater Seattle YMCA; Vice-Chair, Washington State Equal Justice Coalition; Legal Aid for Washington (LAWFUND) Board President 2006-2008.


Class of 2021 Commencement Speaker, Southwestern University (Georgetown, TX); Class of 2017 Commencement Speaker, St. Philips College (San Antonio, TX); Johns Hopkins University Emerita Trustee (2016-Present); Johns Hopkins University Peabody Institute and Carey Business School Dean Search Committee Member; NAACP Life Member; Donor and Creator, The Boggs Fellowship, 1998-Present (given to HBCU graduates or underrepresented persons of color who pursue graduate studies in the physical, biological or engineering sciences at Johns Hopkins University); Loren Miller Bar Association Member; Association of Corporate Counsel (ACC) Docket Editorial Advisory Board; Lincoln Center Institute 2010 Imagination Award Advisory Panel; Co-Chair, Washington State Campaign for Equal Justice; Mentor, Guiding Lights Weekend; Presidential Classroom for Young Americans, Volunteer Instructor; Chair, Law & Government Cluster, Greater Seattle YMCA Black Achievers Program.

Paula Boggs’ professional honors include:

U.S. Army Infantry Parachute Badge (Airborne, 1980); Defense Meritorious Service Award (1987); Presidential Service Badge (President Ronald Reagan, 1988); U.S. Department of Justice Special Achievement Award (“for sustained superior performance of duty” 1990, 1991); Who’s Who Among Rising Young Americans (1992); Secretary of Defense Award For Excellence (Secretary William Perry, 1994); Selectee, Puget Sound Business Journal‘s “40 Under 40” (1995); Recipient, 1998 Boalt Hall Alumni Association Recent Alumnus Award; 2003 King County Bar Association Pro Bono Firm of the Year, Starbucks Legal Department; ABA 2006 Spirit of Excellence Award; 2006 Sargent Shriver Award for Equal Justice; Urban League of Metropolitan Seattle 2006 “Spirit” Award; 2007 Corporate Counsel Women of Color Diamond Award Honoree; 2008 Asian Bar Association of Washington President’s Award; Honoree, 2008 National Bar Association Wiley A. Branton Award; 2008 Honoree, Council on Legal Education Opportunity 40th Anniversary West/Northwestern Region, Individual Leadership Award; named

NASDAQ’s 2009 Top General Counsel; 2009 Johns Hopkins University Distinguished Alumnus(a) Award; Honoree, Puget Sound Business Journal 2010 Women of Influence; 2011 Loren Miller Bar Association President’s Award; Designee, 2012 WNBA Seattle Storm Woman of Distinction; Designee, 2013 American Bar Association “Notable Member;” 2013 Song of the Year© Suggested Artist Award, “The Decision” aka “Carnival of Miracles;” Seattle Girls School 2014 Grace Hopper Award for Lifetime Achievement Honoree; Semi-Finalist, 2014 Song of the Year© Award, “Look Straight Ahead;” 2015 The Mission Continues Compass Award; 2015 Lawdragon Hall of Fame; 2016 Upstanding and Financial Times US/UK Executive Power List for Diversity Leadership; 2016 Johns Hopkins University ROTC Hall of Fame Inductee; 2016 Direct Women Sandra Day O’Connor Award; 2016 Semi-Finalist Song of the Year© Award, “Gigging for the Angels;” 2017 Legal Foundation of Washington Goldmark Award; 2018 Seattle Mayor’s Arts Awards Honoree; 2019 Loren Miller Bar Association “Trailblazer” Award; 2020 Minority Corporate Counsel Association Charlotte E. Ray Award; Honorary Doctorate of Laws, Southwestern University (2021); Puget Sound Business Journal 2021 Board Director of the Year; Savoy Magazine 2021 List of Most Influential Black Corporate Board Directors.

Managing Director, The ExCo Group; New York Times Bestselling Author; Fmr. Journalist, The New York Times

Adam Bryant

Adam Bryant joined The ExCo Group, a senior leadership development and executive mentoring firm, as managing director in 2017 after a 30-year career in journalism, including 18 years at The New York Times. In addition to his many roles there as a reporter and editor, he created the weekly “Corner Office” column in 2009, and interviewed 525 CEOs and other leaders over a decade. He has written three books based on the themes that emerged from those interviews, including his latest: “THE CEO TEST: Master the Challenges that Make or Break All Leaders,” published by Harvard Business Review Press. Since joining The ExCo Group, he has started popular interview series on LinkedIn with board directors, CEOs, CHROs and prominent Black leaders, and he writes a monthly column on leadership for Strategy+Business magazine. Adam also is the senior adviser to the Reuben Mark Initiative for Organizational Character and Leadership at Columbia University.

President & CEO, BSR; Director, We Mean Business Coalition; Author

Aron Cramer

Aron is recognized globally as a preeminent authority on just and sustainable business. In addition to leading BSR, which has grown substantially throughout his tenure as President and CEO, Aron advises senior executives at BSR’s 300+ member companies and other global businesses and partners on the full spectrum of environmental, social, and governance issues.

Aron joined BSR in 1995 as the founding director of its Business and Human Rights Program. He later opened BSR’s Paris office in 2002, where he worked until becoming President and CEO in 2004. Aron has served on advisory boards to CEOs at AXA, Barrick Gold, Marks & Spencer, Nike, Recruit Holdings, SAP and Shell. He is also a director of the Mean Business Coalition.

Aron speaks frequently at leading business and public forums and is widely quoted in top-tier media, such as the Financial TimesLe Figaro (France), The New York TimesThe Wall Street JournalAxios, and Politico. He is co-author of the book Sustainable Excellence: The Future of Business in a Fast-Changing World, which spotlights innovative sustainability strategies that enable business success.

Prior to joining BSR, Aron practiced law in San Francisco and worked as a journalist at ABC News in New York. He holds a BA from Tufts University and a JD from the University of California, Berkeley.

Partner & Co-Chair, Global Corporate Governance & Executive Compensation Practice, Sidley Austin LLP

Holly J. Gregory

HOLLY J. GREGORY, co-chair of Sidley’s global Corporate Governance practice, and also co-leads its Chambers-recognized ESG team and Crisis Management teams, counsels publicly held, private and not-for-profit corporations on the full range of governance issues, including governance structure and culture, fiduciary duties, risk oversight, conflicts of interest, board and committee structure, board leadership, special committee investigations, CEO transitions, board self-evaluation processes, shareholder activism and initiatives, proxy contests, relationships with shareholders and proxy advisory firms, compliance with legislative, regulatory and listing rule requirements and governance “best practices.” She is frequently called on to advise boards regarding sensitive and unusual matters. While most of the matters she works on are highly confidential, high-profile matters that are in the public record include advising on governance and accountability mechanisms of the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) to replace U.S. government oversight, and advising the Board of The Pennsylvania State University on governance reforms.

Holly played a key role in drafting the OECD Principles of Corporate Governance and has advised the Internal Market Directorate of the European Commission on corporate governance regulation, and the joint OECD/World Bank Global Corporate Governance Forum on governance policy for developing and emerging markets. She also drafted the National Association of Corporate Directors (NACD) Key Agreed Principles of Corporate Governance.

In addition to her legal practice and policy efforts, Holly has lectured extensively on governance topics, including at events in Europe and Asia sponsored by the U.S. State Department, International Corporate Governance Network (ICGN), The Conference Board, the NACD, Association of Corporate Counsel, Society for Corporate Governance and Institutional Shareholder Services (ISS). The author of numerous articles on governance topics, she writes the governance column for Practical Law: The Journal.

Holly is a founding trustee and the current president of The American College of Governance Counsel and is an elected member of The American Law Institute. She served as chair of the American Bar Association’s (ABA) Corporate Governance Committee and currently serves on the ABA Business Law Section Council, and the Section’s governing body. She is also a former co-chair of the ABA’s Delaware Law and Business Forum, and a former appointed member of the Corporate Laws Committee where she served as co-editor of the Corporate Director’s Guidebook (Sixth Edition). She chaired the ABA task force that delivered the Report on the Delineation of Governance Roles & Responsibilities to Congress and the SEC in 2009. She has served as an adjunct professor at Columbia Business School and as a member of multiple NACD Blue Ribbon Commissions.

Holly lectures extensively internationally and in the U.S. on governance topics, and she writes the governance column for Practical Law: The Journal. Holly clerked for the Honorable Roger J. Miner, United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit. A summa cum laude graduate of New York Law School and Executive Editor of its Law Review, Holly served on the Board of Trustees of New York Law School from 2009 through 2011.

Holly is widely recognized for her work, including as: one of the NACD Directorship 100, Directorship Magazine, 2022 and all prior years (16 years total); one of “the best and brightest minds in the legal profession” in Ethisphere’s 2017 and 2015 Attorneys Who Matter; the “Best in Corporate Governance” at Euromoney Legal Media Group’s Americas Women in Business Law Awards 2016 and at the inaugural 2012 Awards; the leading practitioner in corporate governance law in IFLR’s Guide to the World’s Leading Women in Business Law (July 2010); a “Leading Practitioner in Corporate Governance” in the International Who’s Who Legal: M&A and Governance, 2022 and prior years; and a “leading lawyer” in Corporate Governance in The Legal 500 US 2020 and prior years; and a “Thought Leader” in the Who’s Who Legal: Thought Leaders – Corporate Governance, 2022 and prior years. She was named in 2018 to The National Law Journal’s list of “White Collar, Regulatory & Compliance Trailblazers” for, among other things, leading the team that counseled the global internet community on a new governance and accountability structure for ICANN for the period to follow U.S. government oversight. Holly received Corporate Secretary’s Lifetime Achievement Award in 2021.

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Keynote Sponsors

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Conference Agenda

See below for the Director’s Summit Agenda by day.

Thursday, February 15, 2024

  • 5:00 pm – 7:00 pm

    Welcome Reception & Program

Fireside Chat: The Evolution of the Boardroom
In partnership with Pearl Meyer

  • Janet Wong, Board Director, Lucid Group, Inc.; Lumentum Holdings, Inc.; Enviva Inc; Tri-Cities Chapter of National Association of Corporate Directors
  • Joe Hurd, Director, Lloyd’s of London, Hays plc, and Trustpilot plc; Operating Partner, SOSV
  • Moderator: Susan Sandlund, Managing Director, Pearl Meyer

Beverages & light refreshments will be served.

Friday, February 16, 2024

  • 7:30am – 8:30am

    Registration & Self-Serve Breakfast

Morning Summit Themes

Disruptive Technology | Innovation | Changing Landscapes

  • 8:45am – 9:00am

    Welcome Remarks

  • Annalisa Barrett, Senior Advisor, KPMG Board Leadership Center
  • Jessica N. Grounds, CEO, Corporate Directors Forum
  • 9:00am – 9:45am

    TedTalk-Style Speakers Series: Transforming the Future

  • Frameworks to Transform & Innovate: Amy Gershkoff Bolles, Board Director, Screaming Eagle Acquisition Corp.; Chairperson, Advisory Board, Boats Group; Senior Advisor, Nassau Street Ventures and Serendipity Capital
  • The Next Generation of AI for the Enterprise: Bhavin Shah, CEO and Founder, Moveworks
  • 10:00am – 10:45am

    Fireside Chat: Guiding Innovation

  • Kevin Sayer, CEO & Chairman, Dexcom
  • Moderator: Chris Anger, West Coast Practice Leader, EY
  • 10:45am – 11:00am

    Morning Break

  • 11:00am – 11:35am

    Fireside Chat: Activism in The Boardroom
    In partnership with Sidley Austin

  • Leonard Wood, Partner, Shareholder Activism and Corporate Defense Practice, Sidley Austin
  • 11:45am – 12:15am

    Topic Spotlight: Workforce Dynamics

  • Cynthia Burks, Director, WD-40 Company and Inspire Medical Systems
  • Jessica N. Grounds, CEO, Corporate Directors Forum
  • 12:15pm – 1:15pm

    Networking Lunch

Afternoon Summit Themes

Strategy | Purpose | New Ways to Lead

  • 1:15pm – 1:55pm

    Panel: Geopolitics & the Supply Chain

  • Kirti Gupta, VP and Chief Economist of Global Technology, Cornerstone Research; Senior Advisor, Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS); Executive Director, Institute for Business Innovation at the Haas School of Business, UC Berkeley; Fmr. Chief Economist, Qualcomm
  • Don Rosenberg, Fellow in Residence, UCSD School of Global Policy and Strategy; Director, EnchargeAI and Niron Magnetics; Fmr. Executive Vice President, General Counsel and Corporate Secretary, Qualcomm Inc. (Retired)
  • David Teece, Executive Chairman, Berkeley Research Group; Professor of the Graduate School, UC Berkeley
  • 2:00pm – 2:45pm

    Fireside Chat: Decision-Making in Crisis
    In partnership with Evercore

  • Eileen P. Drake, Former CEO & Board Member, Aerojet Rockedyne
  • Bill Anderson, Senior Managing Director, Evercore
  • 2:45pm – 3:00pm

    Mid-Afternoon Break

  • 3:00pm – 3:55pm

    TED-Style Speaker Series: Bold Thinking

  • The Collective Intelligence of Boards: Mike Richardson, Partner, REF; Certified Chair of Advisory Boards & ABC Americas Co-Chair, Advisory Board Centre
  • My Inclusion Journey to the Boardroom: Guillermo Diaz, Chairman, Hispanic Technology Executive Council; Board Member, Jack in the Box; Board Member, Blue Shield of California
  • Thrive by Unlocking Purpose: Nell Derick Debevois, Author, Going First; Faculty, EQUUS; Partner, Purpose Fused; Director, B Local Connecticut
  • 4:00pm - 4:45pm

    Fireside Chat: Re-Imagining the Talent Pipeline

  • Bill Rastetter, Chairman of the Board, San Diego Squared, Neurocrine Bioscience, Fate Therapeutics, and Daré Bioscience
  • Puentes, Co-Founder, President & CEO, San Diego Squared (SD2)
  • 4:00pm - 4:45pm

    5:00 pm: Closing Remarks

  • Jessica N. Grounds