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250 of the World's Most Powerful Women Corporate Directors Meet at WCD Global Institute

New York City - May 1-2, 2013

NEW YORK, April 17, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- On May 1-2, 2013, more than 250 of the world's most powerful corporate businesswomen and board directors will meet in New York City at WomenCorporateDirectors' third annual Global Institute. The theme of the invitation-only institute is "Resiliency – Successful Directors and Corporations Looking Beyond the Next Quarter."

The premier gathering for women corporate directors, the Global Institute will bring together directors, board and nominating committee chairs, CEOs, other C-suite officers, and policy experts to explore the issues on the minds of boards today. Topics for discussion include regulation and quotas, rapid technology changes, and preparing for crisis, economic and otherwise.

WomenCorporateDirectors (WCD) membership has jumped to more than 2,000 members on over 3,000 boards in 52 chapters globally this year, reflecting the increased focus on the roles and responsibilities of corporate boards as the world economy struggles to get back on its feet. New chapters have opened recently in the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC), Philippines, Rome, and the Netherlands, and Turkey will be launching in May.

"The Global Institute this year will focus squarely on how directors can build the skills they need to take their companies into the future," says Susan Stautberg, co-founder, co-chair, and CEO of WCD. "Boards know that the ground is always shifting – changes in everything from regulatory restrictions to consumer tastes to disruptive technology can have massive implications for a company's survival."

Amid these changes, she says, directors are asking themselves:

  • Which skills will it take to stay resilient in this economy?
  • How can a company not only manage disruption, but leverage it for growth?
  • What can a board do to see beyond the next quarter and set a course for the future?

To address these questions, the program includes panelists and speakers from the highest level of business globally, including, among others:

  • Clara Shih – CEO, Hearsay Social; Director, Starbucks Corporation
  • Paul Polman – CEO of Unilever
  • Christy Wood – Director, H&R Block, Inc.; Former Chairman, International Corporate Governance Network
  • Susan Oliver (Australia) – Chairman, Fusion Retail Brands; Chairman and Co-Founder, scalE Enterprises
  • Deanna Oppenheimer (USA & UK) – CEO, CameoWorks, LLC; Former Vice Chair, Global Retail Banking at Barclays; Non-Executive Director Tesco PLC and NCR Corporation
  • Jeanette Horan (United Kingdom) – Vice President, CIO, IBM; Director, Microvision, Inc.
  • Fatima Al Jaber (United Arab Emirates) – Board Member, Al Jaber Group; Chairperson, UAE Businesswomen's Council
  • Dr. Helene Gayle – President and CEO, CARE USA; Director, The Coca-Cola Company and Colgate-Palmolive
  • Ambassador Donna Hrinak – President, Boeing Brazil; Former U.S. Ambassador to Brazil, Venezuela, Bolivia, and the Dominican Republic
  • Felia Salim (Indonesia) – Vice President Director, Bank Negara Indonesia (BNI)
  • Wendy Luhabe (South Africa) – Chairman, Women Private Equity Fund of South Africa; Director, BMW (South Africa) LTD.
  • Dr. Andrea J. DewNaval War College, Strategy & Policy Department, Co-Director, Center on Irregular Warfare & Armed Groups
  • Marina Brogi (Italy) – Chairman, Fratelli Branca Distillerie S.r.l.; Director, Prelios S.p.A. and Impregilo, S.p.A.

As part of the Global Institute, WCD will again present the prestigious Visionary Awards, honoring Unilever, IBM, SC Johnson, and former Pearson CEO Marjorie Scardino.

Accepting the award for SC Johnson is Christine Todd Whitman, Director of the company. Governor Whitman explains the strategic importance of diverse talent to SC Johnson's success and impact on the community: "As a 127-year-old privately-held family company, SC Johnson has remained committed to its core values, which is why we're so honored to be recognized by WomenCorporateDirectors with a Visionary Award. Diversity is critical to the company's success and we will continue to focus on attracting, developing, and retaining the best talent to help us win in a global marketplace. With an engaged and empowered workforce, we're able to remain focused on our environmental and philanthropic goals to make life better for families and the communities around us."

Award winner Marjorie Scardino, who became the first female chief executive of a FTSE 100 company when she was appointed CEO of Pearson in 1997, says of the honor from WCD: "I'm grateful to be recognized by an organization that understands how much diversity adds to good governance. The Global Institute's work in educating boards about the benefits truly stands out."

KPMG is the lead sponsor of the Institute and a founding partner of WCD. Other participating companies include: Heidrick & Struggles (WCD Founding Partner), The Coca-Cola Company (Global Institute leader), JPMorgan Chase (Global Institute benefactor and WCD Alliance Partner), Angelo, Gordon and Co. (Global Institute host), Bloomberg (Global Institute host), Marriott (Alliance Partner), and Pearl Meyer & Partners (Strategic Partner).

For more information about the WCD Global Institute, or to see the full two-day agenda, please contact Davia Temin or Suzanne Oaks of Temin and Company at 212-588-8788 or

About the WCD Global Institute
The WomenCorporateDirectors (WCD) 2013 Global Institute is an unprecedented opportunity for global board directors to share corporate governance and business strategies and to build partnerships with a purpose, in a private, invitation-only setting.

The Institute is a two-day, high-powered idea forum exploring compelling issues on the minds of today's board directors and their companies. The program includes keynotes, panels, and discussion groups – as well as the WCD Visionary Awards Dinner – that facilitate informal peer exchanges. Sessions include "Beyond the Next Quarter"; "What Directors Need to Know about Technology"; "What On Earth Were You Thinking?"; "Managing Change and Disruptions around the World"; "New Trends, Ideas, and Best Practices That Directors Can Take Advantage of to Successfully Navigate the Globe;" as well as "Conversations" with Paul Polman, CEO of Unilever PLC, Fatima Al Jaber, board member of the Al Jaber Group, and Marcy Syms, director of Rite Aid and former CEO and chair of Syms Corp.

About WomenCorporateDirectors (WCD)
WomenCorporateDirectors (WCD) is the only global membership organization and community of women corporate directors, comprised of more than 2,000 members serving on over 3,000 boards in 52 chapters around the world. In 2012, WCD launched the Global Nominating Commission, a high-level task force of select corporate board nominating committee chairs and members from around the world, as well as CEOs, focused on proactively building diverse boards and candidate slates. Each year, WCD conducts a Global Board Survey in conjunction with Heidrick & Struggles and researchers from the Harvard Business School. Heidrick & Struggles and KPMG are Global Founding Partners of WCD.

WCD has 52 global chapters, located in Arizona, Atlanta, Beijing, Boston, Brazil, Charlotte, Chicago, Cleveland, Colombia, Dallas/Fort Worth, Delhi, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Gulf Cooperation Council, Hanoi, Ho Chi Minh City, Hong Kong, Houston, Indonesia, Israel, Japan, London, Los Angeles/Orange County, Malaysia, Melbourne, Mexico, Milan, Minnesota, Morocco, Mumbai, Netherlands, New York, New Zealand, Nigeria, Northern California, Peru, Philadelphia, Philippines, Rome, San Diego, Seattle, Shanghai, Singapore, South Africa, South Florida, Switzerland, Sydney, Tennessee, Toronto, and Washington, D.C. For more information, visit

SOURCE WomenCorporateDirectors

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