Beverly Behan: 2013 Diversity MBA Conference Speaker


Beverly Behan has worked with over 130 Boards of Directors over the past sixteen years in the United States, Canada and internationally. Her new book “Great Companies Deserve Great Boards: A CEO’s Guide to the Boardroom” (Palgrave Macmillan, 2011) was named Governance Book of the Year by Directors & Boards magazine in 2012. Beverly has been quoted as an expert in corporate governance by The Wall Street Journal, Fortune, CBS, The Globe and Mail, The Times of London, Fast Company and many other publications and served as a regular columnist for Bloomberg (“The Boardroom”) from 2007-2011.

Beverly’s clients range from recent IPOs to the Fortune 500, from New York to Bogota, Kuala Lumpur and Tel Aviv. Her first major client was the board of the Bank of Montreal for which Beverly conducted the first ever individual director peer evaluation process undertaken by a major North American Board of Directors in 1996.

She was transferred to New York as a partner with Mercer Delta Consulting in 2000 and worked with that firm for 6 years, where her clients included the Board Chairs of Xerox, Continental Airlines, The New York Times and Bristol Meyers Squibb.  While at Mercer Delta, she co-authored “Building Better Boards: A Blueprint for Effective Governance” (Jossey-Bass, 2005).

Beverly then led the Board Effectiveness Practice of the Hay Group from 2006-9, which enabled her to gain greater international board experience, including work with boards in the middle east, central America and Asia. In 2009, Beverly left Hay to start work on her latest book, Great Companies Deserve Great Boards and continues to take on consulting assignments through her own firm, Board Advisor, LLC, based in New York. She lives and works in midtown Manhattan.

Beverly’s focus has always been on creating truly great boards – not just those which are compliant with regulations or have adopted “best practices” – boards that actually make a significant contribution to the companies they govern. Since 2005, CEO succession planning has also comprised a significant part of her practice, as selection of the Chief Executive Officer is one of the board’s most critical decisions and an area that many boards failed to apply rigor to.

Beverly holds a law degree and an MBA.  She was founding faculty of the Conference Board of Canada’s Directors College and has taught in the Canadian Institute of Corporate Directors’ Program at McGill University for 8 years. Since 2011, she has also served as Lead Faculty for the Malaysian Directors Academy.

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