Erin Essenmacher serves as the President & Chief Strategy Officer for the National Association of Corporate Directors (NACD), responsible for strategy, innovation, content curation and execution across the organization's full portfolio of educational offerings. As a member of NACD's executive team, Essenmacher has helped drive a decade of unprecedented growth. Under her leadership, NACD has expanded reach to key constituencies including the venture capital, start-up and small cap governance communities and NACD's flagship event, the Global Board Leaders' Summit has grown to be the largest event in the world for corporate directors.
She has led the design and launch of new products and services including the NACD Director Certification program. Essenmacher is co-creator and co-host of NACD's first podcast Future Fluency, which focuses on the intersection of diversity, innovation and culture and is in the top 20% of most downloaded podcasts for 2019.
Essenmacher is also an award-winning writer, director, and producer with more than 20 years of experience in media production. She has written, directed, and produced films for PBS, the Discovery Channel, Animal Planet, the History Channel, and Court TV, and worked with brands like Sony, Apple, Acura and The Gap. Essenmacher produced and co-wrote the critically acclaimed independent documentary, MINE which one the audience award at both SXSW and San Francisco's Doc Fest.
Essenmacher is a past President and former board chair of Women in Film and Video (WIFV) and former board chair of Gandhi Brigade. She currently serves on the boards of Docs in Progress and EILEEN FISHER, Inc. where she chairs the people and culture committee.
Dennis Fuze serves as NACD's Chief Technology Officer, and is a seasoned technology and operations executive with a passion for excellence and a respect for change. He has 30+ years of leadership and management experience across a broad spectrum of non-profit, government and commercial organizations. Dennis led massive digital transformations at The Environmental Protection Agency, National Public Radio, American Red Cross, The Nature Conservancy, Thomson Financial and Management Concepts. Dennis received a Bachelor of Science in Biology from Grove City College and a Masters in Environmental Policy and Administration from American University.
Peter Gleason has been the CEO of NACD since 2017. Gleason is a recognized expert on board leadership and in corporate governance. He serves as a member of NACD's national faculty, is regularly quoted in the media, and is a frequent presenter on the subjects of corporate governance, executive and director compensation, risk, strategic planning, and board/shareowner relations. Gleason has served as a commissioner on every NACD Blue Ribbon Commission report since joining NACD in 2000, and is an NACD Board Leadership Fellow.
Gleason currently serves on the board of NACD and on the advisory board of NuraHealth Inc., which is a development-stage health-care company. Gleason is chair of the Global Network of Director Institutes (GNDI) and a director of the NACD Capital Area Chapter. He was recently appointed to the International Integrated Reporting Council (IIRC), based in London. Gleason is the former chair of the International Professional Practices Framework Oversight Council of the Institute of Internal Auditors and was formerly a director of The Patriot Fund.
Before joining NACD, Gleason was a management consultant with both Ernst & Young and Pritchett & Associates. In addition, he served as vice president and director of US Research for Institutional Shareholder Services.
Gleason is a graduate of Dartmouth College and has an MBA, with concentrations in both Finance and Marketing, from Virginia Tech.
Alex Obuchowski is the chief financial officer for NACD. His duties include overseeing all financial aspects of the organization, including budgeting and financial statements. Obuchowski previously worked for the Renewable Fuels Association, Veris Consulting Inc., and Johnson Lambert LLP. He graduated from the College of William & Mary with a bachelor of science degree in accounting and is a member of the American Society of Association Executives (ASAE).
Steven R. Walker serves as managing director and general counsel. He leads the Board Advisory Services faculty and oversees Board Recruitment Services and the NACD chapter system. Walker has served as general counsel and/or senior executive for a wide range of public and private entities. He has also served as an attorney advisor for the SEC and as senior enforcement counsel at the Florida Division of Banking, Finance, Securities and Investor Protection. Walker holds BS and JD degrees from Florida State University. He is a director of Objective Interface Systems and ContractRoom. Walker is an NACD Board Leadership Fellow.
Matt Barone is NACD's director of business development and responsible for growing NACD's membership base. His team educates nonmembers on the benefits of membership with NACD while also introducing them to NACD's Education and Advisory Service offerings. He has 15 years of experience working with C-suite executives and 8 years of experience managing successful front-line sales teams. Prior to NACD, he worked at CEB, Water Street Partners, and SunTrust Bank.
Marcel Bucsescu is NACD's Director of Strategic Content, leading NACD's Blue Ribbon Commissions, Fortune 500 advisory councils, and providing strategic oversight of select content offerings for NACD members. Prior to joining NACD, Bucsescu served as Co-Program Director of The Conference Board Chief Legal Officers Council for 12 years and has also served Executive Director of the Ira M. Millstein Center for Global Markets and Corporate Ownership at Columbia Law School. He has also led strategic initiatives for the Office of the CEO at LRN Corporation. Bucsescu began his career at The Conference Board, having held positions in their Councils program, Sustainability Center, and Governance Center. Marcel holds a Master of Arts in European Studies from the Universiteit van Amsterdam and an undergraduate degree from the State University of New York at Binghamton.
Rochelle Campbell is NACD's director of board services group, leading the NACD board advisory services and the board recruitment team. She works companies of all types and sizes, customizing, developing, and delivering in-boardroom programs and recruitment. Prior to her work with NACD, she spent more than a decade in public relations as an advisor and public speaker. She holds a MS from GMUâ€™s School of Public Policy, and a B.S. from the University of Utah. She has spent her free time volunteering extensively for a variety of nonprofit organizations.
Christopher Y. Clark is NACD's director of partner relations and publisher of NACD Directorship magazine and Directorship.com. Previously, Clark held a number of roles at Forbes Inc., including vice president of sales and vice president and general manager of the Forbes Management Conference Group. He is a member of the Broadridge Virtual Shareholder Meeting Best Practices Working Group and a contributing member of NACD's flag and general officer advisory council.
Kristen Conley is NACD's director of marketing. She is responsible for the marketing communication efforts supporting all business units, including NACD's membership retention, publications and research, and educational programming. Conley's team also oversees NACD's chapter-system marketing, social media, public relations activities, and overall brand awareness. Previously, Conley served in a number of other roles at NACD, including as marketing manager and as senior manager.
Stephanie Mullette is NACD's director of corporate solutions. She has more than 10 years of experience working with general counsel and other C-level executives, shareholders, and boards of directors on corporate governance best practices, public company preparedness and compliance, and shareholder activism, including roles at CEB, Institutional Shareholder Services, and White & Case LLP. Mullette holds a BA from Cornell University and a JD from Brooklyn Law School.
Susan Paley is NACD's chapter advancement officer. She and her team partner with NACD chapter boards to deliver world-class programs to directors in more than 35 cities. Prior to joining NACD, Susan was a television producer and script writer, working for the BBC, Discovery Networks Europe, C-SPAN and the World Bank. Susan holds a B.A. from Tufts University in international relations and communications.
Wanda Parker-Smith is NACD's director of human resources. She has primary responsibility for leading and managing the human resources programs. Parker-Smith has more than 20 years of experience in the human resources industry. Prior to NACD, she worked at the National Railroad Passenger Corporation (Amtrak). Parker-Smith holds a master's degree in human resources from John Hopkins University. She has also attained the Professional in Human Resources (PHR) and the SHRM Professional (SHRM-CP) certifications.
Patricia Smith is art director at NACD. She is responsible for developing creative guidelines and directing creative work for NACD's publications, its website, and NACD Directorship magazine. Smith has 25 years of experience in publication design and has held creative roles at PC Magazine, Chief Executive magazine, and with the Insurance Information Institute. She holds a bachelor of arts degree in studio art and design from William Paterson University.
Friso van der Oord is senior director of research and editorial, responsible for all NACD content development. He is an experienced governance advisor and business line manager, who has worked over the last 15 years with Fortune 500 and global executives on major risk, compliance, and integrity challenges, including serving in leadership roles at CEB and LRN. He holds an MA in international relations from Johns Hopkins University's SAIS Program.
Donna Vaught is NACD's senior director of content and event experience; she provides strategic direction in the planning and execution of all meetings and events. Vaught has more than 20 years of experience in the convention and event-management industry. Previously, she worked at the International Society for Performance Improvement, the International Downtown Association, and the Federal Reserve Bank. Vaught holds a bachelor's degree in business, and has attained the CMP certification.
Judy Warner is editor in chief of NACD Directorship magazine. A journalist for more than 30 years, Warner joined the Directorship team as managing editor from ComAve LLC, an independent content-management firm which she cofounded and operated. Previously, Warner was New England bureau chief of Adweek magazine. She began her journalism career with the Boston Globe as an editorial assistant. Warner holds a BS in journalism from Northeastern University.