With a diverse résumé, Watson—educated at Harvard University and Stanford Law School—has worked as a news anchor for MSNBC and, at the age of 29, founded college preparatory company Achieva College Prep Service, which the Washington Post later purchased. He created online news service OZY Media last year with financial backing from Laurene Powell Jobs—a business executive and the widow of Apple CEO Steve Jobs—and Silicon Valley lawyer Larry Sonsini, who has helped launch companies like Apple, Google, and Tesla. OZY’s focus is to provide readers with a jumpstart on news about issues, people, and trends months before the story is covered by the mainstream press.
Watson will join more than 160 distinguished speakers spanning nearly 100 sessions at NACD’s 2014 annual conference. His keynote address on Oct. 12 will provide his insight on the powerful lessons that U.S. businesses can learn from global trends in technology, innovation, and social demographics.
The NACD conference will also feature customized learning tracks, which include risk, compensation, nominating and governance, NACD Directorship 2020®, future trends, social media and technology, global disruptive forces, audit and regulatory, small-cap, private company, and story circles. In addition, on Tuesday, Oct. 14, attendees can participate in small peer-exchange roundtables organized by topic, key committee, industry, and organization type.
New offerings at this year’s conference include the Global Village, a gathering of international embassy officials and subject matter experts available to discuss governance and business opportunities in global markets; and an enhanced Social Media Lab, where attendees can learn about and engage with the latest trends and tools in social networking.
As international crises fixate political leaders and traumatize millions of citizens caught in conflict, particularly in the Middle East, a former military leader and one-time advisor to U.S. President Barack Obama will share his views at the NACD Board Leadership Conference.
Retired USMC Gen. James L. Jones, former national security advisor to President Obama, has for the last two years served as chief executive of the United States-Kurdistan Business Council. (USKBC) Jones’ perspective on the role of boards in the oversight of geopolitical risk, including implications of volatile situation in the Middle East and the rise of the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS), have been informed by his decades of experience in international policy, national security, and global competitiveness.
In July, Jones and the USKBC hosted two top Kurdish officials for meetings in Washington: Fuad Hussein, the chief of staff to Massoud Barzani, the Kurdish regional government president, and Falah Mustafa Bakir, the head of the Kurdish foreign relations department. Earlier this month, Jones facilitated meetings between Bakir and both key administration officials and Congressional leaders, including Sen. John McCain (R-AZ).
Jones, who will be interviewed on Tuesday, Oct. 14 by NACD Managing Director and Senior Advisor Jeffrey M. Cunningham, will also share insights into how boards have a critical role in ensuring their companies are recognizing and preparing to navigate the nuances of current and emerging political, business, and economic issues.
Are you ready to gain international insights from a swath of countries—including Brazil, Ireland, and Malaysia – without having to stand in line at customs? You’re in luck with this year’s NACD Board Leadership Conference. Our theme, “beyond borders,” is about more than extending your operations across boundary lines. It’s about expanding how you think about business, the boardroom, and global issues.
That’s why we’re excited to introduce the NACD Global Village, a unique environment where NACD members and international business leaders can discuss emerging trends and opportunities in global enterprise. Select countries from around the world will have exhibits, each featuring their own embassy representative available throughout the conference for one-on-one meetings with NACD members. Representatives from Brazil, Canada, China, Ireland, Malaysia, Mexico, and Russia will be available to discuss the advantages and challenges of doing business in their country. Attendees can also make appointments to meet with economic ministers, investment and trade commissioners, and other leaders who are at the fore of conducting business around the world.
The NACD Global Village, along with the following slate of handpicked speakers, can help prepare you and your board for the unprecedented changes and challenges we face in the international landscape.
Gen. James L. Jones, USMC (Ret.)—who has served as national security advisor to President Obama, supreme allied commander, Europe, commander of the U.S. European Command, and 32nd commandant of the marine corps—shares his decades of experience in international policy, national security, and global competitiveness. He will also share insights into how boards can play a critical role in ensuring their companies are recognizing and navigating the nuances of current and emerging political, business, and economic issues.
Sue Gardner, the former executive director of the Wikimedia Foundation, the nonprofit behind the online, crowd-sourced encyclopedia Wikipedia, discusses how the foundation transformed from a 10-employee, $3 million operation to a staff of 179 with more than $50 million in donations and grants and has become the fifth most-visited website in the world.
Save the Children President and CEO Carolyn Miles and board chair Anne Mulcahy discuss what the board expects of management—and vice versa—and how they work together to navigate everything from the perils and opportunities of operating around the globe to creating a top-notch organizational culture.