Program Experience

Highlights and Key Outcomes

In Corporate Governance: Essentials for a New Business Era, you will:

  • Explore board opportunities for C-suite officers in areas including technology, human resources, and sustainability
  • Grasp how a director’s role is changing in today’s social, legal, and business environment
  • Learn to present yourself as an attractive candidate for boards
  • Look inside the process for nominating, selecting, and onboarding directors

Experience and Impact

Traditional board governance is a thing of the past. Today’s directors must be ready and able to handle a wide range of enterprise risks that could impact a large company. Led by top Wharton management faculty, Corporate Governance: Essentials for a New Business Era offers those aspiring to be on boards, recently appointed to a board, or experienced directors and company executives a wide-ranging look at what constitutes successful board service in the current environment. The specific content of the program will also be informed by the year’s most pressing issues. The focus in 2020 will include company and legal issues related to diversity and inclusion; environmental, social, and governance (ESG) metrics; and leading in the boardroom.

Participants will explore how to present themselves as candidates for boards against the backdrop of social and legislative efforts to make boards more ethnically diverse and gender inclusive. You will also learn about the functional capabilities that are valued on boards, including strategy, technology, human resources, sustainability, and international experience. You will acquire strategies for marketing yourself to recruiters and come to recognize the value you can bring to a boardroom setting.

Individuals already on boards will gain new insights into managing emerging sources of enterprise risk and how best to diversify their board to address new regulations and investor expectations.

In addition to the outstanding faculty, selected guest speakers will enhance the program’s practical, real-world approach. Speakers may include veteran board chairs and lead directors; a federal prosecutor who has conducted internal investigations for major telecommunications and financial firms; and an executive-search partner experienced in board recruitment and onboarding.

A valuable benefit of this program is the substantial networking opportunity. You will have time to interact with seasoned and board-ready individuals from a wide variety of backgrounds and experience, providing for an expanded peer group. The need has never been greater for board members with new perspectives and experience. Timely and unique, Corporate Governance helps you take full advantage of the rapidly changing environment for both board selection and director responsibilities.

Session topics include:

  • Shareholders and stakeholders
  • Social and political strategies
  • Enterprise risk management
  • Recruitment and onboarding
  • Overseeing ESG metrics
  • Gender and diversity in the boardroom
  • International governance

Wharton LIVE Programming

Real-time, synchronous peer learning

The live, virtual version of Corporate Governance: Essentials for a New Business Era will be delivered on Tuesdays and Wednesdays for two consecutive weeks. It will be taught by the same Wharton faculty who teach in our on-campus classes. This program offers, and requires, a high level of participant engagement through class discussion and case studies.

Participants will have direct access to Wharton faculty throughout the program, and engage in dynamic group work that helps reinforce the learning and enable networking among the peer community.

This timely program will explore many of the hot button issues facing corporate boards today. By attending this program, you will come away better equipped to face the challenges of being on a board member both now and in the future.

Program Duration:

  • Sep. 29-30 and Oct. 6-7, 2020
    Tuesdays & Wednesdays / 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. EDT (exact timeframe to be determined)

Download Full Program Schedule

Building Your Network

In addition to the class lectures and discussions, this program will also include opportunities for you to get to know the other participants and build your professional network. These sessions include:

  • Wharton After Hours Discussion Board
    Wharton faculty will weigh in on a participant led online discussion board that moves beyond the day’s content into global current events. Think of it as faculty office hours but online.
  • Faculty Q&A Forum
    In small groups, we plan to discuss the issues that are top of mind to you — issues that may or may not be covered directly in the course material. Faculty will spend time with each of the groups to share insights, while also providing a chance to deepen connections and enhance the learning experience across the cohort.

Who Should Attend

This program is for:

  • Senior-level women or minority executives who aspire to board service or have recently joined a board
  • C-suite executives including general counsels, chief technology officers, chief financial officers, chief human resource officers, chief risk officers, and chief sustainability officers
  • Partner-level attorneys in law firms with experience in corporate investigations, mergers/acquisitions, and compliance
  • Leaders of major nonprofit organizations and academic institutions
  • Board members who wish to become better informed and more productive in their role
  • Members of governance and nominations committees seeking to diversify their boards
  • Corporate secretaries
  • Institutional investors

Group Enrollment

To further leverage the value and impact of this program, we encourage companies to send cross-functional teams of executives to Wharton. We offer group enrollment benefits to companies sending four or more participants.


Michael Useem

Michael Useem, PhDSee Faculty Bio

Co-Academic Director

William and Jacalyn Egan Professor of Management; Professor of Management; Director, Center for Leadership and Change Management; Editor, Wharton Leadership Digest

Research Interests: Catastrophic and enterprise risk management, corporate change and restructuring, leadership, decision making, governance

Mary-Hunter McDonnell

Mary-Hunter McDonnell, PhDSee Faculty Bio

Co-Academic Director

Associate Professor of Management, The Wharton School

Research Interests: Organizational theory (political sociology, institutional theory); nonmarket strategy; corporate governance; corporate misconduct and punishment

Date, Location, & Fees

September 29 – 30, 2020andOctober 6 – 7, 2020LIVE Virtual$4,900Tuesdays & Wednesdays

Download the program schedule.

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Prices are subject to change.

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