The key to good governance? Empathy.

“You don’t want to wait until you already know that there is a culture problem to really understand the culture of your organization. You should constantly be a student of the culture of your company, because we all know nothing can destroy an organization faster than a toxic culture.”

- Dottie Schindlinger

Culture is top-of-mind in the boardroom. How do you manage it and measure it? What does it look like to act decisively on culture, and what ethical implications come from those decisions? In this episode of the Principled Podcast, host David Greenberg talks about the critical role of boards in shaping ethical corporate culture with Dottie Schindlinger, Executive Director of the Diligent Institute and co-host of The Corporate Director Podcast for Diligent Corporation. Listen in as the two dig into the relationship between boards and ethics and compliance teams and discuss how that can inspire good governance. The key to success? Empathy.

What you'll learn on this episode:

[1:52] What was on the minds of those at Diligent Institute during their recent corporate culture roundtable?

[5:32] Boards’ and Directors’ struggles to measure culture and progress.

[8:25] Underlying driving factors of conduct.

[14:13] - Discussion of cancel culture and reputation preservation.

[17:38] - The importance of identifying your company’s purpose. 

[19:52] - The key ethics issues challenging boards right now.

[24:28] - The looming threat of cyber crime.

[27:46] - The shifting relationship between boards and ethics and compliance teams.

 

Additional Resources:
Report: LRN Benchmark of Ethical Culture

Intro: Welcome to the Principled podcast brought to you by LRN. The Principled podcast brings together the collective wisdom on ethics, business and compliance, transformative stories of leadership and inspiring workplace culture. Listen in to discover valuable strategies from our community of business leaders and workplace change makers.

David Greenberg: Culture is top of mind in the boardroom. How do you manage it and measure it? What's it look like for boards to act decisively on culture? And what are the implications of those decisions? Hello and welcome to another episode of the Principled podcast. I'm your host, David Greenberg, LRN's former CEO and now special advisor. I'm also on the board and chair the governance committee of International Seaways. Today, I'm joined by Dottie Schindlinger, executive director of the Diligent Institute and co-host of Diligent's podcast, The Corporate Director. We're going to be talking today about the critical role of boards in shaping ethical culture. We'll be touching on the relationship between boards and ethics and compliance teams and how that can promote good governance. Dottie is a real expert in this space. She brings over 20 years experience in governance related roles, including serving as a director, officer, committee chair, senior executive, governance consultant and trainer for public, private and nonprofit boards. Dottie, thanks so much for coming on the Principled podcast.

Dottie Schindlinger: It's my pleasure, David. It's great to be with you.

David Greenberg: Dottie, Diligent sponsored a recent round table for directors on corporate culture. What was on their minds?

Dottie Schindlinger: Well, thanks for asking, David. Listen, culture has been a top issue on the minds of corporate directors for a few years now but really very much so in the past two years during this pandemic. It's been really fascinating in our conversations with directors all throughout this period of time, the word that keeps coming up over and over again is empathy. That empathy has now become a key skillset for directors and senior executives of organizations to really make good decisions. And I think corporate culture in particular has been a little bit in the crosshairs because of all the rapid change and the seismic type of change that organizations are going through.

Think about back in March of 2020, when basically every company that could had to move to 100% remote operations with no advanced warning and with no planning and think of the impact that it had on corporate culture. When what seemed to be a two week hiatus from the office turned into, in some cases, an 18 month long hiatus from being together in the office. I think the directors are really watching corporate culture very closely. And then of course you have other pressures taking place, everything from ESG, what's happening in terms of our workforces, the huge talent crunch that we are under right now that the competition for talent at an all time high. Culture is definitely on the minds of corporate directors and we spent a lot of time talking about that in this round table.

David Greenberg: Speaking of all the time out of the office, what are the directors saying about there are companies and boards being back in the office?

Dottie Schindlinger: Well, it's very uneven. For some organizations they've been fully back in the offices for a long time. And by the way, I feel like it's really fair to point out that even during the pandemic, something on the order of 62% of jobs in the US cannot be performed remotely. And so I feel like we have to just call that out for a moment and acknowledge that being a remote worker was really kind of the reality for a privileged few in the workforce and not the many. But having said that, it's still very uneven the experience. We're seeing a lot of interest on the part of workforces when they can perform jobs remotely to continue doing so. And then we're seeing also a lot of desire from people together that they miss each other, that they miss the kind of give and take that happens when you get together physically in a space and you have the opportunity to run into somebody you haven't seen in a long time. Someone who's maybe not on your team but an adjacent team and just have those impromptu water cooler conversations that I think we all treasure.

It's a very mixed experience. For some people it's better to stay remote, especially if, for example, you're the parent of young children and childcare continues to be an issue. You may want to have the flexibility that being a remote worker brings to your schedule. It's definitely not a universal and because it's not universal and because this all full disease of COVID just keeps rearing its ugly head and we have new variants happening, it's hard to plan. If you're in any position of leadership and you're having to plan, when should we go back to the office? And what should be the protocol to keep the workforce safe? These questions don't have simple answers and the answers themselves continue to evolve as the disease evolves. It definitely is requiring everyone to be a little bit creative and to stay on their toes.

David Greenberg: Got it. Going back to the discussions on culture, did measurement come up? How are boards and directors struggling with trying to measure culture and make real metrics on culture so that progress can be measured?

Dottie Schindlinger: Yeah, it's a hard thing to measure, isn't it, David? Trying to measure cultures a little bit like saying we're going to measure love. How do you actually approach that? But we also know that when there is a toxic work culture, it is palpable. People recognize when there's a toxic work culture, you can almost see it in the faces of the people on the team. There are some measurements that are quite helpful. I don't know if you're familiar with a project that was put together by a group called Glassdoor in combination with the MIT Sloan School, something called the Culture 500. And what they basically did was use some AI tools to investigate hundreds of thousands of submissions from Glassdoor reviews of employees to look for patterns. And then they measured companies on the S&P 500 on nine different variables trying to determine the health of culture. And kind of work, I think is really very interesting. If you haven't checked it out, I'd recommend that you look at the Culture 500 and just take a look at that website and see how they approached that.

It's that kind of measurement that I think is going to make the difference. When you can really see big data sets and look with AI fueled tools for patterns and try to uncover what can we really learn from all these reviews? You're not looking at individual reviews and reacting to individual reviews but you're looking for commonalities and themes and patterns across thousands of entries. That then does give you a fairly accurate picture of what's happening with culture within a company. I think if you're a director these days, you should be paying attention to these kinds of tools. These are the kinds of things that are going to make it easier for you to provide that kind of oversight on culture, especially because that is so hard to do.

I can say this from personal experience, I'm on the board of a small nonprofit organization that recently had some challenges around culture. And we've been meeting remotely for a year and a half because of COVID. We haven't been physically on site at the nonprofit organization and frankly, we didn't really have a good sense for what was happening there day to day. And so it took having some conversations with the staff to try to understand what is actually happening here? And it's just really hard to get the tools that you need to have that visibility if you're not boots on the ground every day. And frankly, that's just not the reality for board members, even outside of the pandemic. We're not boots on the ground every day at the organizations that we oversee. Having these kinds of tools that give us better insight, I think are going to be increasingly important as we start to think about how to measure culture.

David Greenberg: The other thing I've seen some boards turning their attention to is kind of trying to capture some of the underlying drivers of conduct, both good and bad. Things like trust, fear, belief that management acts on its values. And if boards can get underneath the surface like that, you were talking about empathy. I think those are the kinds of things that we're going to have to be able to measure and assess because otherwise we're just asking people in engagement surveys how they're doing, whether they go out to lunch with their boss, whether they can bring their dog to work and that's not really what's driving behavior.

Dottie Schindlinger: It's really true. And David, one of the recommendations that came out of this round table that I think gets at that question of trust is look, I think boards are very used to evaluating the performance of their C-suite executives and especially of the CEO and really understanding, do we have a feeling of trust with this individual and with this team? Do we have trust in their capability as leaders? But it can be incredibly powerful for the board to get some reports from skip level employees. Not the C-suite and not even their direct reports but one level down and really kind of getting a sense from that layer of the organization, how do they think the C-suite is doing in terms of whether they can be trusted to lead the organization in the right direction? That kind of an approach, sort of that 360 degree evaluation can be so helpful to understanding the culture of the organization, especially if that kind of information is coming anonymously and is done regularly.

You don't want to wait until you already know that there's a culture problem to understand the culture of your organization. You should constantly be a student of the culture of your organization because let's face it, we know nothing can destroy a company faster than a toxic culture. Truly. We just see every example of that ripped from the headlines. We know that to be true. And so if you're maybe once a quarter, two times a year doing a big 360 degree pulse check of the whole company to understand the culture, really asking people culture specific questions, that's going to give you, I think, a very good sense for how things are going within the company and just it's not necessarily the only data point that you'll use but it does give you a very different view than what you're hearing just in conversation with the C-suite executives.

David Greenberg: Yeah. You mentioned toxic cultures. Do you have any recent examples in your experience of a board acting decisively on corporate culture where there was a problem like that?

Dottie Schindlinger: Well, there's many as you know but I'll share just one. And I feel comfortable sharing this one because it has been very widely publicized and we've also featured the executive vice president and general counsel a couple times at events that we've held at Diligent. And that's the story of Wynn Resorts. I think everybody remembers a few years ago that there was a very well publicized #MeToo campaign around Steve Wynn, who was the founder, chairman and CEO at the time and he was found to be guilty of sexual misconduct and he was ousted from the company. What may not be as widely known is as part of that process, about half of the board was also ousted from the company because as they began to do their investigation, what they learned was that it wasn't just a matter of there being one bad apple but it was truly endemic in the culture.

There was a culture of intimidation and harassment almost at every level of the organization. It absolutely was the tone at the top playing out through the entire organization. And so they felt that they really needed to kind of start fresh and they brought in many more women onto the board. They brought in much more diversity onto the board and that was true throughout the leadership of the company as well. And they began to really work from the frontline employees all the way up to the top of the organization to really get to know what that culture had been like and what would be the things that they really needed to work on and correct. And one of the things I think is quite remarkable is that when we think now about what was happening during the pandemic, so all of this happened at Wynn a few years ago but then came the pandemic.

And at the beginning of the pandemic, Las Vegas was shut down completely and as you can imagine for a company like Wynn Resorts, this was an existential crisis. If they couldn't operate their business at all, it might have very quickly spelled the end but because they'd been doing all this hard work around culture, they knew that one of the most important things that they could do would be to retain their workforce for as long as humanly possible. And so they made cuts every possible little place they could without cutting staff. And they actually did not furlough staff, I think, longer than any other resort or casino in the Las Vegas area. And that's really saying something.

Now, eventually they did have to make some adjustments as the pandemic continued month after month. But I think they've now hired back basically everyone that they furloughed. They really just focused so much on retaining their workforce, protecting their workforce and really making sure the workforce knew how valued and how trusted they were. And I think that speaks to the hard work that they did around culture. I don't know that that would've been their priority in years past but they knew moving forward, this had to be priority number one for them and it really showed in the choices that they made.

David Greenberg: Very interesting. And I'm speaking to you from one of the Wynn hotels right now, where I'm having some strategy meetings. The service is great, the place looks great so they seem to have weathered the storm.

Dottie Schindlinger: That's great to hear.

David Greenberg: How are you experiencing and talking to boards, their dealing with all of the issues related to reputational risk and cancel culture?

Dottie Schindlinger: Yeah, it's a great question. And I think we hear about cancel culture and the concerns there. I think it certainly is a bigger concern for certain industries, rather others. If you are a consumer products company, obviously this is a huge concern for you. It's something that can absolutely spell the difference between success or failure and really on either side. You can have a social campaign go extremely well as in the case of Nike a few years ago, in terms of their support of Colin Kaepernick, that that actually ended up paying huge dividends for the company and really put them in a strong position. And it can go exceptionally poorly. I think of an example like United Airlines when the video of them dragging a passenger off the plane went viral. And quite frankly, even than three years after that incident, their stock price really was continuing to underperform their peers. You can really see how these things can light a fire and go very, very broadly.

We do this report every month at Diligent Institute called the Director Confidence Index. And back in February, we were curious to know, how did directors feel about reputational risk? And in particular, we wanted to know, how did they feel about the fact that CEOs were becoming much more public faces of companies and taking to the podium to speak on issues that are kind of unrelated to corporate performance but are related more to social issues. Things that they felt might be of concern to their key stakeholders.

And what we thought was pretty fascinating was that 54% of the directors we asked said that their CEO had made a public statement to address a social or political event occurring in 2020. And that was more than double the rate that we found four years ago. It is absolutely true that there is more happening around reputation management and reputation generation for corporate leaders. But only 16% of the directors that we surveyed said that they encouraged their CEO to speak publicly on any issue he or she deems appropriate. 42% say they would encourage the CEO to speak out but only to the extent that the issue relates directly to the company's mission or values. And about 32% said CEOs should always stay silent on social issues. It's clear that there's not a lot of consensus among directors about the best way to do this.

What I would say is I think a lot of directors that we speak with are telling us, "Look, it doesn't matter whether you like it or not, you may have to enter the fray because to be silent can sometimes do more damage than to say something. And so you do have to really think about how are you guarding your reputation? What are you aligning your reputation too? And I think probably the best true north is how does this relate to your company's values? What are the things that you are trying to put out to market as your core values? And how does this relate to what you value? I think that's really the best way to approach when to speak out, how to speak out and who should speak out.

David Greenberg: I think it also helps when companies have a clear sense of purpose, why they're on this planet and what their relationship is with society. If they can define that and understand that, then it may help them understand the issues where really there's very little choice and a lot of need to actually speak out because it connects to who they are and why they're here.

Dottie Schindlinger: Well David, I completely agree. And I would say in that same survey, 57% of directors told us they're more concerned about reputational risk today than they have been in any prior year. And I think that is because there has been this pressure being placed on companies by institutional investors, by the business round table, by just societal opinion.

Again, going back to the fact that we're in this talent war, you've got to attract and retain top talent. And the way to do of that is to make sure that you have a clearly stated company purpose, that that purpose of your company is tied to something broader than generating positive returns for shareholders and that it's something that your workforce, your customer base, your partners can all buy into and sort of see a role for themselves in. And I think that's just a much taller order than we've had in years past. I think that the job of a director is getting precipitously harder but if you can have that stated company purpose, it can make other things easier to say no to and make it a little clearer what you have to say yes to.

David Greenberg: And one of the things that I've taken to the boardroom from my experience as a senior executive at what at the time was a Fortune 10 company, is that the truth is making a return for shareholders and all of the compensation bells and whistles that comp committees have ever created, you add all that up and it wasn't enough to get a lot of us up in the morning. If there wasn't a greater purpose to what we were doing the company was really missing something in terms of getting discretionary effort even out of its most senior leaders.

Dottie Schindlinger: Yeah. I think that's very true. That connects to sort of what makes us human, doesn't it? That we're all, we're purposeful beings, human beings and we want to know that we're connecting to some broader purpose. It's not just we're doing it for the sake of doing it. And I think that's true for board members too. I think board members feel far more motivated to maybe go on a limb and tap into their personal networks and express empathy and have compassion for things that they feel they connect to. I think everybody wants to feel they belong.

David Greenberg: For sure. When we drill down a little bit, what are some of the key ethics issues you see challenging boards?

Dottie Schindlinger: Well, first of all, just the number of ethics issues challenging boards has exploded. There's many more things that board members have to keep their eyes on these days. I would say some of the big ones, issues around the pandemic dealing with sort of public health issues, making sure that local regulations and workplace safety are being managed correctly. Again, those are not easy issues, but they need to be thought through.

Diversity equity and inclusion is a big one. I think there's been so much energy being put into this area ever since the murder of George Floyd and the many corporate commitments that were made to try to change the nature of systemic racism and really address historic inequity. And these things require ongoing attention. This is not something that gets fixed in a couple of months. We're talking about a system that goes back 500 years, so it's going to take some time to get this right but it needs for us not to take our foot off the gas, to really kind of keep going. Also issues related to sexual harassment, those continue to be things that we see plague companies and just continue to need to be addressed.

Those are things I would say are really top of mind over the past couple of years but I would also add there, there's sort of a huge ethical dimension to climate change. Right now we're just finishing up the COP 26 conference that's happening in Glasgow. And there's a lot of concern out there that we're not going to be able to meet the climate commitment that we need to meet to keep the ocean temperature level down to 1.5 degrees Celsius above where it was. And I think that has huge, huge implications for every company. Everything from global supply chain, to workforce, to our ability to just conduct business in this new unknown future with bigger, more horrifying storms.

And there's some ethical dimensions there. If we're not making choices that are in the best interest of the planet, not only can they be really harmful to our business and our balance sheets, but they're harmful to our own ability to exist. I would call that a bit of an ethical conundrum and that is a huge issue that I think boards are going to have to get better at addressing, frankly, just better at being able to have those conversations at a strategic level in boardrooms. It really does connect to the ability for the business to exist and thrive. We have to just get better at making sure we're talking about these things all the time.

David Greenberg: You've just made a pretty good case that the issues that boards confront and discuss are changing. Do you see a related change in the profile of public company board members?

Dottie Schindlinger: We've started to see that. We did a report in July called Beyond the C-suite and it was looking at the changing trends of the profile of new director hires of public companies. And what we saw is that while the vast majority of new hires of directors are still current and former CEOs, CFOs and COOs, there is year over year, a growing number of new director hires that are coming into the boardroom with different skillsets. We're talking about people that come into the boardroom with technology backgrounds, legal backgrounds, ESG, HR, sales and marketing. Just kind of nontraditional profiles for board member hires. And this is not an accident. We are seeing this wide array of areas of risk that boards are now being asked to tackle and really have no choice but to tackle. Things like cyber risk, for example.

10 years ago, I think you'd be hard pressed to find a board meeting that spent a very much time talking about cyber risk outside of a very small number of companies. Now, I think you'd be hard pressed to find a board meeting that doesn't touch on cyber risk probably at least a little bit of every board meeting at most companies. And so we're seeing this big shift in the kinds of things that directors have to deal with. And as a result, you need different talent. You need people that come from different areas of expertise and bring fresh perspective into the boardroom conversation.

David Greenberg: Yeah. I can tell you that cyber risk comes up on the board at International Seaways very regularly and every time it does, it scares me to death because it's very hard to deal with. It's very hard to know and you have very good people inside and outside the company who can help but it's really fast moving and it's just one of those things that keeps you up at night.

Dottie Schindlinger: And I hate to say it but probably should. Probably should keep you up at night. The terrifying numbers that I hear, I believe that now cyber crime as an industry, if you look at it as an industry, has top $6 trillion a year, which Larry Clinton who's the president of the Internet Security Alliance always has this great line, which is, "If cyber crime was a country, it would be big enough to qualify for entrance into the G7." Thinking about any individual company trying to tackle such a behemoth is kind of outrageous.

I think what we need to think about is how are all of us as companies, as governments, as citizens banding together to fight this insane criminal enterprise. It's the largest criminal enterprise on earth. It's I think at this point, something like double the size of the illicit drug trade. It's massive. We all have to play our role in fighting this and none of us are going to be successful alone but of us can take our eye off the ball. We all have to pay attention. We all have to be a little bit paranoid all the time for bad things not to happen.

David Greenberg: Yeah. One of the things that worries me, you've referenced the war for talent a few times and I wonder if the good side is winning the war for talent in the cyber area?

Dottie Schindlinger: Not even close. Not even close, David. Right now, the estimated number of unfilled cybersecurity professional jobs globally is three million. And there's just not even a pipeline to fill that many roles. Unfortunately this is a definite area of concern. I would say any of you listening to this podcast, if you have a young person in your life who's trying to figure out what career to go into, suggest they go into cybersecurity, we need them in the fight.

David Greenberg: One of the things I've seen in terms of the changing profile of directors is that I would say three years ago, you would have been hard pressed to find even one or two members of public company boards who had spent a major part of their time as working chief ethics and compliance officers and now I've identified about a dozen. There's a little boomlet in that area that I hope will continue.

Dottie Schindlinger: That's a tiny little boomlet.

David Greenberg: I know, I know. Well, you got to start somewhere.

Dottie Schindlinger: You got to start somewhere. I would agree with you. I think that's a positive trend. I'd love for it to actually be large enough to be a trend but it's positive to see that we definitely saw that there are more individuals with legal expertise being welcomed on to boards. And hopefully that means that they come in the door with some deeper understanding of ethics and compliance issues maybe than others. And I think we definitely could see more of that because as we've been speaking through this whole podcast, the ethical and moral dimensions of business, I think are getting far more complex. And so you need people who sort of understand ethics and compliance in a real way to be able to help guide strategic decisions that have ethical and compliance dimensions to them, which I think is all of them. I think we could all do with an ethics and compliance expert on our boards.

David Greenberg: Here, here. A lot of this audience listening to this podcast today, come from the ethics and compliance community so I wanted to be sure to ask how you see the relationship between boards and the ethics and compliance teams out there and whether it's changing and how it may need to change more.

Dottie Schindlinger: Great question. I do think it is changing and I would be disingenuous if I said it was changing everywhere at the same pace. That's not true. It's fits and starts. But I do think that there's a greater recognition on the part of many companies that the ethics and compliance team is not the team to call in when things have already gone wrong but that in actual fact, they can be very strong strategic partners in future decision making. You can bring in the ethics and compliance team to help you think through investments that you're planning to make. You can bring them in to help you think through ways that you could potentially be greening your business to potentially add to the bottom line. You can bring them in to talk through workforce issues and the fight for talent, and retaining and attracting of top talent. What are some ways to think about that from sort of the ethical dimension?

Frankly, I think it behooves you to use that team in a strategic way to just help make better, more nuanced decisions and play out in advance what are the ethical dimensions of this decision that we're going to make? Again, business now moves at the speed of a tweet. Never forget that every decision you make is going to be scrutinized and it's going to be scrutinized in the marketplace of Twitter. And so if that's going to be the case, it probably makes sense for you to check in with the ethics and compliance team about what might be some things we should be prepared for as we make this decision? And I don't know that that's been the traditional way that those teams have been leveraged. I think more so they've been brought in after the fact to help fix something that's gone wrong or they've been brought in when there's some check the box exercise around training that needs to happen. And I just think that's an under utilization of a really great resource in your company.

David Greenberg: Dottie, that is a fantastic place to end today because we're just about out of time. It has been an enormous pleasure to talk with you about the evolution of boards in shaping culture, ethics and compliance and the role of boards in what is an ever changing world. Thank you for joining me on this episode and I hope we can continue our conversations.

Dottie Schindlinger: Thank you so much, David. It's been such a pleasure.

David Greenberg: And thank everyone out there for listening. I'm David Greenberg and we'll see you next time on the Principled podcast by LRN.

Outro: We hope you enjoyed this episode. The Principled podcast is brought to you by LRN. At LRN, our mission is to inspire principled performance in global organizations by helping them foster winning ethical cultures rooted in sustainable values. Please visit us at lrn.com to learn more. And if you enjoyed this episode, subscribe to our podcast on Apple Podcasts, Stitcher, Google Podcasts or wherever you listen and don't forget to leave us a review.

Episode Card 2

 

Dottie Schindlinger

Dottie Schindlinger is Executive Director of Diligent Institute, the global corporate governance research arm of Diligent - the largest SaaS software company in the Governance, Risk and Compliance (GRC) space.  She co-authored the book, “Governance in the Digital Age: A Guide for the Modern Corporate Board Director,” and co-hosts, “The Corporate Director Podcast.” Dottie was a founding team member of the tech start-up BoardEffect, acquired by Diligent in 2016. She is the Board Vice Chair of Alice Paul Institute and is a Fellow of the Salzburg Global Seminar.  She graduated from the University of Pennsylvania, and lives in suburban Philadelphia.

Dottie Schindlinger is Executive Director of Diligent Institute, the global governance research arm of Diligent Corporation. She co-authored the book, Governance in the Digital Age: A Guide for the Modern Corporate Board Director and co-hosts The Corporate Director Podcast. She helped launch and grow the start-up BoardEffect, acquired by Diligent in 2016. Dottie is Vice Chair of the Alice Paul Institute and is a Fellow of the Salzburg Global Seminar, and she is a graduate of the University of Pennsylvania.

Episode Card 2 - David

 

Host

David Greenberg serves as Chair of the Governance and Risk Assessment Committee and a member of the Audit Committee of International Seaways (NYSE: INSW), one of the largest global crude oil and petroleum tanker companies.  Mr. Greenberg’s previous board experience (2006 to 2016) was as the independent director – and member of both the Audit and Compensation Committees --of APCO Worldwide, a private communications and government affairs consultancy and as a director (2013 to 2016) of Clean Tech Group, which creates opportunities for industrial companies to invest in innovative, clean technology.  He also served for 5 years as Chairman of the Board of Trustees of The Keystone Center, a Colorado non-profit that brings together oil, chemical and pharmaceutical companies with leading NGOs to find solutions to complex public policy challenges at the federal and state levels.

Greenberg is currently Managing Director of Cortina Partners LLC, a private equity firm that owns companies in the air medical, addiction treatment, bedding, textile and outdoor recreation industries and is CEO of Acqua Recovery, a residential drug and alcohol addiction center.  He also advises boards and executive teams on strategy, compliance, leadership and culture as a Special Advisor for LRN Corporation, and from 2008 through the end of 2016 was a member of LRN’s Executive Committee. For 20 years prior to 2008, Mr. Greenberg served in various senior positions overseeing government affairs, corporate affairs, communications and strategy at Altria Group, Inc. – then the parent company of Philip Morris USA, Philip Morris International, Kraft Foods and Miller Brewing – culminating in his role as Senior Vice President, Chief Compliance Officer and a member of the Executive Committee.  As one of five senior vice presidents of the corporation, he served on the Management Committee, which oversaw all strategy and company operations.  He was also a principal architect of the company’s very successful efforts to end the ‘tobacco wars’ which threatened the company’s very existence.  Earlier in his career, Mr. Greenberg was a partner in the Washington D.C. law firm of Arnold & Porter and also served as Legislative Director and General Counsel of the Consumer Federation of America.  He attended Williams College and has JD/MBA degrees from the University of Chicago. 

Greenberg has testified before the U.S. Congress, the European Union, the Israeli Knesset and other governmental bodies over two dozen times and has appeared on ABC Nightline, the CBS Morning News, BBC Morning, and the PBS News Hour, and has spoken at leading events for CEOs and boards.

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