It Started with Eight Leading Businesswomen

In 2003, eight experienced businesswomen recognized a coming trend and joined together to form a private company to meet the needs of corporate boards for increased independence, effectiveness, and diversity.  Our reputations, collective networks and affiliations reached thousands of companies. 

Director responsibilities and shareholder scrutiny continue to expand to meet increasing oversight requirements. Governance oversight continues to evolve:  oversight of technology such as Generative AI and  cybersecurity, geopolitical, environmental and societal risks all challenge board agendas. Majority voting, annual elections, universal proxies, shareholders questioning board composition and risk areas, scrutiny of number of boards served, expanded skills/ experiences needed to oversee long-term corporate strategies and risk, increasing number of hours required for proper oversight of responsibilities increasing oversight responsibility these expanded areas of oversight all require increased focus on board diversity and composition, governance, risk and long-term strategy. Hence the formation of The Directors’ Council lead by Michele J. Hooper, President and CEO. 

Michele J. Hooper

President and CEO

(Longboat Key FL/ Chicago, IL): MICHELE J. HOOPER is President and CEO of The Directors’ Council. With over 30 years of corporate board experience, Michele is board leader, an audit committee financial expert chairing audit committees of several global companies, a highly-regarded governance expert and business leader. She currently serves on the corporate boards of directors of UnitedHealth Group (Lead Independent Director), and United Airlines (Chair, Audit Committee). She also serves on the faculty of National Association of Corporate Directors and serves as vice chair on the Smithsonian National Board.

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MICHELE J. HOOPER is President and CEO of The Directors’ Council which consults with major companies to improve the effectiveness of their corporate governance. With over 30 years of corporate board experience, Michele is an audit committee financial expert chairing audit committees of several global companies, a highly-regarded governance expert and business leader. She serves on the corporate boards of directors of UnitedHealth Group (Lead Independent Director), and United Airlines (Chair, Audit Committee). Michele previously served on the boards of PPG Industries, Target Corporation, Seagrams Corporation, Warner Music Group and AstraZeneca. In 2017 Michele was selected as NACD’s Director of the Year. Michele was recognized as Forbes Magazine 2022 50 over 50: Women Stepping into Their Power.

Michele retired from the boards of the National Association of Corporate Directors (NACD) and as President of NACD Chicago. She was a commissioner on ten NACD Blue Ribbon Commissions on governance including Strategy Oversight, Board-Shareholder Communications, Audit Committees, Risk Oversight, and the Diverse Board. Michele is a leading NACD faculty member and a consultant for inboardroom consulting as well as director education. Michele also retired as a board member of the Center for Audit Quality (CAQ) where she was Chair of the CAQ Working Group focused on Deterring and Detecting Financial Reporting Fraud.

Previously, Ms. Hooper served as President and Chief Executive Officer of Voyager Expanded Learning and of Stadtlander Drug Company, Inc. Prior to joining Stadtlander, Ms. Hooper was Corporate Vice President, Caremark International, and President of the International Business Group, responsible for the expansion of Caremark into Europe, Canada and Japan. Ms. Hooper began her career at Baxter International. As President of Baxter Canada, Ms. Hooper led Canada’s largest health care and laboratory supplies company.

Ms. Hooper is Vice Chair of the Smithsonian Institution’s National Board and Board member of Black Directors Health Equity Agenda. She is a board member of the Sarasota Performing Arts Foundation (FL) and the West Coast Black Theatre Troupe (FL). Ms. Hooper is a member of The Economic Club of Chicago, The Commercial Club of Chicago, the World Presidents’ Organization (WPO), The Chicago Network, and the International Women’s Forum (IWF).