I truly believe that more effective corporate governance and more vigilance on the part of all directors can contribute significantly to a company’s better financial and ethical performance. We as directors have a responsibility to do our part to help restore trust in corporate governance and in American business, help to build long term value for shareholders and to do our best for the company as a whole and its stakeholders.

Barbara Hackman Franklin

Among the earliest businesswomen to be elected to serve on the board of a public company, Franklin has been a director of 14 public companies and four private companies in a broad variety of industry sectors. Franklin has served on and/or chaired a variety of board committees, and has special expertise in audit committee work, having chaired six audit committees. She has also chaired two governance committees and served as a presiding director. Most recently, she has chaired the Audit Committee at Dow Chemical, and the Audit Committee and Governance Committee at Aetna, Inc.

In addition, Franklin has served on the board of four private companies and was the non-executive chairman of one of these, Guest Services, Inc.

Franklin served as chairman of the NACD (2009-13) during a period of rapid growth in revenue, membership and quality of offerings. She is now chairman emerita. Franklin has served on NACD’s board since 2002, chaired its Governance Committee, chaired one NACD Blue Ribbon Commissions, co-chaired two, and served on 11 other NACD Blue Ribbon Commissions. In December 2014, Franklin was inducted into the NACD Directorship Hall of Fame.


Franklin is a regular speaker and consultant to boards on best practices and navigating today’s environment as it has been impacted by regulation and shareholder activism. She has received numerous awards.

Top 25 Female Corporate Directors, 2009
Directorship 100, 2007, 2009, 2014 Hall of Fame
Most Influential People & Organizations in Governance
Directorship magazine
Outstanding Director, Class of 2003
The Outstanding Directors Exchange (ODX)
Director of the Year, 2000
The National Association of Corporate Directors (NACD)
John J. McCloy Award, 1991
For contributions to auditing
Public Oversight Board
American Institute of Certified Public Accountants

Audit Committee Expertise

People tell me I have invented some of the best practices in use today. I’m pleased to hear that, but I don’t go around trying to invent best practices. I do what seems to make sense and help the audit committee do its job.

Barbara Hackman Franklin

Franklin is especially known for shaping the role of today’s audit committee chairman. In her 30 years of service on audit committees, she has established policies and honed practices that in today’s era of corporate scandals are being heralded as exemplary (Outstanding Directors Report, 2003).

Service to Accounting and Audit Organizations

American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA) (1977 – 1986)
Chair, Audit; One of the First Public Members

Auditing Standards Board Planning Committee (1989 – 1992)
Public Member

Financial Accounting Foundation (which oversees FASB) (2003 – 2006)
Trustee; Chair, International

Public Company Accounting Oversight Board (PCAOB) (2003 – 2009)
Member of Advisory Council


I have seen firsthand the power of diversity in the boardroom. I have seen decision making sharpened and enriched when there are many voices, thoughts, and different perspectives around the board table. Increasing diversity is not only the right thing to do. It can boost competitiveness and our capitalistic system.

Barbara Hackman Franklin

Franklin is a strong proponent of diversity in the corporate boardroom. In 2012, she was a member of the NACD Blue Ribbon Commission which issued a report entitled: The Diverse Board: Moving from Interest to Action. This report calls diversity a business imperative and defines diversity broadly to include identity – gender, race, and ethnicity – as well as skill set and experience. As one of the first female board members on numerous corporate boards, Franklin herself has experienced the power of having varied voices around the board table.