About the Institute

A Call to Action

The social and economic challenges posed by the absence of people of color in board leadership have been well documented. But an even greater challenge results when a majority of America’s corporate leaders have no formal on-boarding process that enables directors that do make the cut, the opportunity to understand the culture, direction, and values that shape the company’s mission. Therein lies the role of the Herndon Directors Institute.

The Herndon Directors Institute is a historic initiative that is long overdue as a solution to meaningful and sustainable inclusion of minorities and women in corporate leadership. It was created to encourage leaders like yourself to rethink the trail of your professional life up to this point and how your contribution to change can be impactful for those that follow, in ways that would not otherwise be possible.

We seek to generate a cadre of diverse corporate-ready thought leaders who will engage their peers through meaningful contributions that change the landscape of corporate governance.

That is the reason and the mission behind the Herndon Directors Institute. We are an instrument of sustainable change advocating for seats at the table for women, black and brown people. In fact, our curriculum content is specifically designed to address both behavioral and organizational challenges that are unique to minority and women executives taking on the mantle of board leadership. In addition, the Institute’s unique program positions each Fellow as a change agent, empowered to leverage their individual skills as a component of governance that empowers others and contributes to the organizational mission.

As a prospective Fellow you can expect an extraordinary experience that will touch you with a wholistic message while harnessing all of your talents and sensibilities as a special contribution to the company that appoints you to its Board. Each Fellow will be assigned a specific mentor/coach from the point of application to admission. Your coach will advise you on specific steps forward as you proceed through an intense and rigorous on-boarding process that carefully examines your commitment and desire as a “servant leader.” Upon admission, you will continue your relationship with your coach as you proceed through the exciting and challenging program content in preparation for board appointment.

Your acceptance as a Herndon Fellow is a special invitation—you must earn your place and your seat at the table.

Because your acceptance as a HERNDON FELLOW is a special invitation, you must earn your place . . . and your seat at the table, not solely by what you say, but what you have already done in your quest to pay it forward as a corporate and community professional.

Additionally, just as there are no guarantees in life, in business, nor in governance, there are no guarantees in board placements. For this reason, HDI Fellows should view participation in our program as an investment in their professional growth and commitment.

Upon completion of this accelerated learning, you will join colleagues in companies participating in the Institute’s diversity governance pipeline who value your unique multicultural perspective and your leadership talents in support of the brand and its stakeholders. This is the mark of leadership. It plants the seed of change in the quest for equity and inclusion and it is an important calling of the highest order.

For this reason, many will not make the cut. Make no mistake, the Herndon Directors Institute admissions review will be a rigorous deep-dive that will inform both you and us about your strengths and your weaknesses, while giving you a better sense of this mission before it is launched. Thanks again for taking the journey with us.