Madam Chair is a collaborative group of 250+ female Chairs and Lead Directors of publicly-traded companies.

Our members represent over 35% of the women holding these leadership roles in the U.S. and are across all industries and market capitalizations.

We hold virtual, monthly events with corporate governance thought leaders.  

Past and future speakers include…

Board Leaders:

Pat Russo (Chair of Hewlett Packard Enterprises and Lead Director of General Motors), Sharon Bowen (Chair of the NYSE), Rich Stoddart (Chair of Hasbro), Robin Washington (Lead Director at Salesforce and Board Member of Alphabet), Dr. Helene Gayle (President of Spelman and Compensation Chair of Coca-Cola)

Leading Investment Firms:

Jeff Smith (CEO of Starboard Value), Aeisha Mastagni (Portfolio Manager at CalSTRS), Michelle Gadsden-Williams (Global Head of DEI at BlackRock), Hilary Gosher (Managing Director at Insight Partners), Christine O’Brien (Head of Investment Stewardship at Elliott Investment Management)

Industry Thought Leaders:

Gretchen Carlson (Co-Founder of Lift Our Voices), Kristen Silverberg (President and COO of Business Roundtable), Donna Morris (Chief People Officer of Walmart), Homaira Akbari and Shamla Naidoo (authors of The Cyber Savvy Boardroom)

Trusted Board Service Providers:

Jing Ulrich (Vice Chairman of Investment Banking at JP Morgan), Robin Ferracone (CEO of Farient Advisors), Kai Liekefett (Co-Chair of Sidley’s Shareholder Activism & Corporate Defense Practice), Jim Rossman (Global Head of Shareholder Advisory at Barclays)

Board Search and Advisory Professionals:

Rusty O’Kelley (Managing Director in Russell Reynolds Associates’ Board and CEO Advisory Practice), Lisa Blais (Co-Head of US CEO & Board Practice at Egon Zehnder), Seonaid Charlesworth (Spencer Stuart’s Board Practice)

We collaborate with fantastic organizations such as Him for Her, Black Women on Boards (BWOB), Tapestry Networks, and Extraordinary Women on Boards (EWOB) to further the mission of supporting women in board leadership roles.

We share recommendations and connect with each other to support our respective leadership activities.

Contact Us

If you are a female Chair or Lead Director of a publicly-traded company and would like to join Madam Chair or if you believe you could provide value to our group, please reach out.


A special ‘thank you’ goes out to Jun Frank, Managing Director in ICS Advisory at ISS Corporate Solutions, who has been integral to this initiative from the start by providing the data on women board leaders. This information facilitated the outreach and subsequent creation of the community. We are grateful to Jun and his colleagues for their efforts to support female board leadership.

© 2021 Madam Chair

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