Donna Dabney

Donna Dabney joined The Conference Board as Executive Director, Governance Center, in August, 2012. In her current position, Donna leads The Conference Board’s efforts in the area of Corporate Governance.

Prior to joining The Conference Board, Donna was Vice President, Corporate Secretary and Corporate Governance Counsel of Alcoa Inc.

Donna has extensive experience in corporate governance matters, having served as a member of management for over 15 years on the boards of Alcoa and Reynolds Metals Company. She is a recognized expert on governance issues related to executive compensation. At Reynolds she was a member of the senior management team with oversight responsibility for the global operations of the company and served as chief mergers and acquisitions counsel and Secretary to the Board of Directors. When Alcoa acquired Reynolds in 2000, she joined Alcoa as its Secretary, Assistant General Counsel and Group Counsel of the Consumer, Packaging, Distribution and Construction Group, where she was part of a three-member team with oversight management responsibility for this business. As part of her work with the Alcoa Board of Directors, she has gained substantial experience with sustainable development in the Amazon region of Brazil.

Before joining Reynolds she practiced law with the Richmond, Virginia, firm of McGuire Woods and served on the faculty of Old Dominion University. She is a 1980 graduate of the University of Virginia School of Law and a member of the Order of the Coif legal honorary society.

Donna is a member of the New York Advisory board of the Society of Corporate Secretaries and Governance Professionals, the Stockholder Relations Society of New York, and she is a member of the faculty of the Citadel Directors Institute and of the Practicing Law Institute.

Posts by Donna Dabney

  • Did ISS get it right in recommending a vote against Target’s directors? (06.04.14 )

    By Donna Dabney, Executive Director, Governance Center, The Conference Board Several news sources recently reported that ISS is recommending a vote against seven of Target’s ten directors because they served on the Audit Committee or the Corporate Responsibility Committee at the time of the well-publicized data breach at Target last year.  How directors satisfy investors […]

  • How the Shareholder Proposal Process Should Work (03.30.14 )

    By Donna Dabney, Executive Director, Governance Center, The Conference Board Two interesting developments on the shareholder proposal front arose this past week. SEC Commissioner Gallagher gave a speech (see below) giving a powerful voice to what many general counsels and corporate secretaries have been thinking for some time—the shareholder proposal process is out of control, […]

  • The CEO Pay Ratio (07.17.13 )

    By Donna Dabney, Executive Director, Governance Center, The Conference Board There is little disagreement that rising income disparity is a serious issue for society and the economy.  The 2010 Dodd-Frank Act directed the SEC to issue regulations requiring public companies to disclose the ratio between the CEO’s compensation and that of a median employee to […]

  • Key Developments This Week (11.29.12 )

    Two developments this week are worth noting.   Harvard Law School’s Shareholder Rights Project announced that it is planning to assist pension funds in submitting shareholder proposals to 74 companies to eliminate their classified boards.   Wachtell Lipton Rosen & Katz issued a client memo criticizing this move.   The announcement and the memo are posted here.  The […]

  • Strategies for Improving Gender Diversity on U.S. Company Boards (09.27.12 )

    The Center for Transatlantic Relations at Johns Hopkins University School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS) hosted a global conference on women on boards in Washington D.C. last week to discuss improving gender diversity on U.S. company boards. For the past decade, the proportion of female directors on U.S. public company boards has not increased as […]

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