Moving the Needle on Board Diversity: A Conversation with NACD’s Peter Gleason

“There’s a tremendous supply of qualified candidates and the supply is greater than the demand.”

Peter Gleason 

In this episode of the Principled podcast Peter Gleason, the CEO of the National Association of Corporate Directors (NACD) is interviewed by Ben DiPietro, Editor of LRN’s ENC Pulse Newsletter. Peter explains how the expectations of a board have expanded over the last 10 years, resulting in the need for a certification from the NACD to prepare new board members for the boardroom.

In addition, there is increased pressure on boards from investors and activists to improve board composition and to take a stance on controversial social issues. Peter also explains how Ethics and Compliance professionals can position themselves and prepare for the boardroom.



headshot of guest, Peter Gleason

Peter Gleason is the president and chief executive of the National Association of Corporate Directors, and is a recognized expert on board leadership and corporate governance issues. 

He serves as a member of NACD’s national faculty; is regularly quoted in the national media; and is a frequent presenter on the subjects of corporate governance, executive and director compensation, risk, strategic planning, and board/shareowner relations.

Gleason is chair of the Global Network of Director Institutes (GNDI), director of the NACD Capital Area Chapter, and a NACD Board Leadership Fellow. He is the former chair of the International Professional Practices Framework Oversight Council of the Institute of Internal Auditors. 

Before joining NACD, Gleason was a management consultant with both Ernst & Young, and Pritchett & Associates. Gleason is a graduate of Dartmouth College and Virginia Tech.



  • [0:58] How long has NACD existed and what was his journey to becoming CEO? 

  • [2:34] NACD recently released a new program to certify board members. Why is this being done now and what benefits do you expect to see from this?

  • [4:39] What will it take to get the majority of boards to embrace diversity, not just in gender and race, but in age and skill sets? Why has progress been so slow?

  • [7:20] What role are investors and activists having in driving action on board composition and oversight, and how are boards responding?

  • [10:01] There’s been a lot of focus on CEOs and the stances they take on controversial public issues. Do you see this coming for directors, and are they prepared for it?

  • [11:55] Why does Gleason think more boards don’t have directors with ethics and compliance backgrounds? What can ethics and compliance professionals do to make themselves more attractive board candidates?​


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