The Role of Directors in Reputation Risk

The Institute for Corporate Responsibility (ICR) and the Center for Law, Economics and Finance (C-LEAF) are pleased to announce the next program in their ongoing series on Challenges in Corporate Governance.

The program will focus on the role of Corporate Directors in dealing with reputation risk. Damage to the company’s reputation can have a negative impact on revenues, profits, growth, employee morale, share price, and even its viability. As a result, the role of corporate boards in overseeing the risk to their companies has required more timely focus on risks to the company’s reputation. The challenge for directors in this regard is to understand possible internal and external sources of reputation risk, what is being done to prevent such risks, how the company is perceived by its stakeholders, and what plans are in place to deal with reputation damage if it occurs. 

The panel will include corporate directors and an advisor to them. Topics to be addressed include how the board is structured to oversee reputation risk, the type of information that it reviews, how it prepares for the possibility of a damaging event, its role in reacting to the damaging event, and its role in mitigating the damage to its reputation. The program should be of interest to students of business as well as corporate and securities law.


  • Hon. Cynthia A. Glassman, Senior Research Scholar, ICR; Board Member of Discover Financial Services and Navigant Consulting; Former Commissioner, Securities and Exchange Commission 


  • Charles Bakaly, Senior Counselor, National Litigation and DC Crisis Communications Practice, Edelman
  • Hon. William Barr, JD '77, General Counsel and Executive Vice President (retired), Verizon Communications; Former US Attorney General 
  • Hon. Kathleen Cooper, Former Under Secretary of Commerce for Economic Affairs; Nonexecutive Board Chair, Williams Companies; Director, Deutsche Bank Trust Company of the Americas. 
  • Cynthia Hostetler, Board Member, Vulcan Materials Co., Aberdeen Investment Funds, and Trilinc Global Impact Fund