The National Association of Corporate Directors (NACD) is a corporate leadership training nonprofit that aims to increase performance and responsibility for corporate management. The organization has 22 chapters across the United States in addition to the national organization,1 and works with 44 corporate partners, including the Nasdaq, AIG, and Amazon Web Services. 2 Though the NADC primarily focuses on training and events, the organization occasionally contacts Congress and regulators to advocate or oppose regulatory reforms.
The NADC’s membership consists of 21,000 board members from over 1,400 organizations in the United States and abroad, 87% of which are for-profit companies, and 13% of which are nonprofits. In the Fortune 1,000, 94% of companies have at least one board member in the NADC,3 and the boards of 50% of the companies are fully in the NADC. 4
In the wake of the 2020 Black Lives Matter protests after the police-custody death of George Floyd, the NACD issued a statement in support of black Americans against racism that “runs deep in our society.” 5 The organization has also directed its NACD NXT program to launch a multi-year initiative to encourage boards to use diversity to increase corporate efficiency. 6
Training and Events
The National Association of Corporate Directors conducts online and in-person classes and peer-to-peer mentorship programs for members. Each year, it holds 400 event programs across the United States on a wide variety of corporate governance topics, such as CEO succession, ethics, and cybersecurity. 7 The largest event is its annual summit, which held over 1,600 attendees from 70% of the Fortune 1,000 in 2019. The 2020 Summit will be held online due to the COVID-19 pandemic. 8
Instead of donations or grants, nearly all of the NACD’s revenue comes from its programs. In 2019, the organization generated $34,139,087 from these operations. 9
In December 2010, the National Association of Corporate Directors wrote a letter to the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) on behalf of 10,000 members condemning new whistleblower regulations in the Dodd-Frank Act, the massive regulatory overhaul drafted after the 2008 financial crisis. Though intended to increase legal protections for corporate whistleblowers, the NACD argued that the rules would undermine ethical corporate cultures by incentivizing whistleblowers to bypass internal corporate reform processes entirely. 10
In 2012, NACD CEO Peter Gleason gave an interview to the Metropolitan Corporate Counsel in which he criticized the Dodd-Frank Act and SEC for creating “tremendous uncertainty” around compliance with new corporate management regulations. He also expressed concerns that many corporate boards were excessively concerned with government-mandated disclosures at the expense of persuading shareholders of the merits of business decisions. 11
In March 2020, the National Association of Corporate Directors released a survey of its membership on how corporate boards are responding to the COVID-19 pandemic. Both the NACD and Associated Press reported that the survey revealed that major companies were confident in their management teams. 12 The survey found that 76% of boards discussed COVID-19 in meetings, 74% took measures to protect employees, and almost half reviewed corporate communication procedures. The most discussed business repercussions of COVID-19 were (in-order) decreased demand for products, declining employee productivity, supply chain breakdown, and failure in capital markets. 13
- “NACD Chapters.” NACD. Accessed July 4, 2020. https://www.nacdonline.org/events/content.cfm?itemnumber=54733.
- “Find experts in governance and board development.” NACD. Accessed July 4, 2020. https://www.nacdonline.org/about/content.cfm?itemnumber=55724.
- “NACD Members at a Glance.” NACD. Accessed July 4, 2020. https://www.nacdonline.org/membership/become_member.cfm?itemnumber=53142.
- “NACD Membership.” NACD. Accessed July 4, 2020. https://www.nacdonline.org/membership/become_member.cfm?ItemNumber=63700.
- “NACD Stands in Solidarity with the Black Community.” NACD. Accessed July 4, 2020. https://www.nacdonline.org/membership/content.cfm?ItemNumber=67928.
- “NACD NXT.” NACD. Accessed July 4, 2020. https://www.nacdonline.org/nxt/.
- “NACD All Events Calendar.” NACD. Accessed July 4, 2020. https://www.nacdonline.org/events?categories=National%20Event&noscroll=true.
- “Update: 2020 Summit Going Virtual.” NACD Summit 2020. Accessed July 4, 2020. https://summit.nacdonline.org/.
- “National Association of Corporate Directors (NAC).” Cause IQ. Accessed July 4, 2020. https://www.causeiq.com/organizations/national-association-of-corporate-directors,522314113/.
- “Sustained Ethical Corporate Culture at Risk from Proposed SEC Whistleblower Rules.” CISION. December 20, 2010. Accessed July 4, 2020. https://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/sustained-ethical-corporate-culture-at-risk-from-proposed-sec-whistleblower-rules-112179459.html.
- “NACD: Helping Companies Make Better Decisions.” Metropolitan Corporate Counsel. May 22, 2012. Accessed July 4, 2020. http://www.metrocorpcounsel.com/articles/19265/nacd-helping-companies-make-better-decisions/.
- “New NACD Survey Reveals Boards Have Confidence in Management’s Ability to Handle COVID-19 Pandemic, See Greatest Disruption in Consumer Demand and Declining Productivity.” Associated Press. March 20, 2020. Accessed July 4, 2020. https://apnews.com/Globe%20Newswire/70422ec07ba4afa23e68dcf8dc5b3d18.
- Edgerton, Barton. “COVID-19 Pulse Survey Reveals Boards Have Confidence in Management.” NACD. March 19, 2020. Accessed July 4, 2020. https://blog.nacdonline.org/posts/covid-19-pulse-survey.