At the Board Table

It would be an understatement to say that the past few years have been busy for the board. We have been confronted with some difficult situations, while at the same time going through an intensive process of re-visioning and Ends development for the new organization.

Needless to say, the untimely passing away of our former CEO Caroline Oliver has affected us deeply. We still miss her and wish she would have been with us to witness the results of the bold initiative for change that she initiated a few years ago.

Recruiting a new CEO as we were just completing the transition to a new name and new bylaws added to an already overburdened board agenda. We are relieved to have successfully completed the recruitment process and are delighted to have Karen Fryday-Field as our new CEO, the first paid CEO in our history. You can read more about her in this board announcement.

During these developments, we sought input from association members and the wider ownership at on multiple occasions. Still, we received feedback that you wish to be more informed both about what the board is doing and the deliberations that inform important decisions we are making. That is why I’m initiating this blog: ‘At the board table.’ As a chair, I intend to share more of what we are doing and discussing, to provide you greater visibility into the board’s work.

Since the June conference we slowed our pace for a few months. We needed a short pause after a busy lead up to that gathering. Since then, we finalized the contract with our new CEO, and discussed priorities for the coming board year. One important priority is to get up to speed with monitoring again. Due to a packed agenda, we skipped some monitoring reports, especially with regard to our own governance. It’s important now to begin the regular monitoring schedule again.

A second priority for the board is our relationship with the moral owners. This blog is a result of a focus on that priority. In addition, we plan to be in touch with governance experts and practitioners to discuss our broader orientation to principled, systematic and owner-accountable governance systems.

Most importantly, we are focused on growing the organization and its impact. As our new name confidently states, we intend to “govern for impact”. We believe we can help boards across the globe to better fulfill their responsibilities and make this world a better place.

We’d love to hear from you during this exciting new phase for the organization. All comments, questions and suggestions for the board are welcome. Feel free to email me at

Thanks for reading this and sharing your thoughts,

Hartger Wassink, board chair

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