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Sandra Day O'Connor Board Excellence Award Luncheon

General Electric Company Chairman and CEO Jeff Immelt Accepts First DirectWomen Board Diversity Award

Annually, DirectWomen awards the Sandra Day O’Connor Board Excellence Award to women lawyers who have served with distinction as independent directors of public companies and have worked to advance the value of diversity in board positions. This award is named for Retired Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O’Connor. An innovator and pioneer, she became the first woman justice in the Supreme Court’s history. The women honored with the Sandra Day O'Connor Board Excellence Award exemplify the manner in which Sandra Day O'Connor leads her life, paving new paths for the women who come after her. A selection committee chooses recipients who epitomize the spirit of DirectWomen and honors them and the companies on whose boards they serve for their achievements and commitment to promoting board diversity.

Our 2017 Awards Luncheon will be held at 12:00 p.m. ET on October 20, 2017 at the Midtown Hilton in New York. Additional information, including honorees and ticket information, will be posted here in the coming months. If you would like to be added to a list of potential attendees that we will contact when tickets are available for purchase, please email Beth Barefoot (bbarefoot@directwomen.org). 

Our 2016 Awards were distributed at a Luncheon on October 21, 2016 at the Waldorf Astoria. At this Luncheon, DirectWomen proudly honored: 

  • Jamie Gorelick, a partner at WilmerHale and a member of the boards of Amazon and VeriSign, Inc., with the Sandra Day O'Connor Board Excellence Award
  • Paula Boggs, former General Counsel of Starbucks Coffee Company and a member of the board of Avid Technology, with the Sandra Day O'Connor Board Excellence Award
  • Stasia Kelly, Co-Managing Partner (Americas) of DLA Piper and a member of the boards of Owens-Illinois and Huntington-Ingalls Industries, with the Distinguished Alumna Award

Our 2015 Awards were distributed at a luncheon on June 5, 2015 at the Waldorf Astoria in New York. At this Luncheon, DirectWomen proudly honored General Electric and Procter & Gamble with the Board Diversity Award for their leading roles in promoting gender diversity on boards. We also honored three prominent women lawyers who have served with distinction on major corporate boards: Ann Veneman, the first female Secretary of Agriculture and former Executive Director of UNICEF; Pamela Thomas-Graham, former CEO of CNBC, Chief Marketing and Talent Officer and Head of Private Banking & Wealth Management New Markets at Credit Suisse; and Frances Fragos Townsend, Executive Vice President at MacAndrews & Forbes Holdings, Inc. Finally, we honored Deborah Majoras, Chief Legal Officer of Procter & Gamble, with our first Rising Star award, presented to an alumna who has successfully become a corporate director and serves as a role model for her fellow alumnae. Click here to read DirectWomen Chair Bobbi Liebenberg's opening remarks at the Luncheon. 

In 2013, DirectWomen proudly presented the Award to Mary Cranston and Gloria Santona. Elisse Walter delivered the keynote address.

Attending this luncheon not only supports DirectWomen’s mission of increasing the representation of women attorneys on corporate boards, but also provides an excellent opportunity for attendees to network with leading CEO’s, directors, search firm executives, DirectWomen alumnae and honorees, and other prominent lawyers. 

Success Stories

Connie Collingsworth

Connie joined the board of Banner Corporation in 2013. Learn more

Peggy Heeg

Peggy joined the board of Columbia Pipeline Partners LP in 2016. Learn more

Robin Walker-Lee

Robin joined the board of Rexnord Corporation in May 2015. Learn more