Directors’ College 101: Board Fundamentals for New Directors is an inaugural program brought to you by the Arthur and Toni Rembe Rock Center for Corporate Governance, which has been hosting Stanford Directors’ College for more than 25 years. At Directors’ College 101, first-time directors will learn from leading academics, experienced directors, and practitioners about the fundamental aspects of being an effective public company board member. Topics will include:

  • the board’s role and relationship with management
  • legal and fiduciary duties of directors
  • board committee roles and structure
  • board culture and accountability
  • boardroom best practices
  • accounting and internal audit fundamentals
  • compensation basics
  • SEC reporting and disclosure

Directors’ College 101 is intended for recently appointed first-time public company board members. Board members of prominent privately owned for-profit companies or candidates in the process of being appointed to a public company board may also fill out an application form to seek admission to the program. Acceptance of registration is at the discretion of the Program Directors, who may decline applications of unqualified candidates.



Michael Callahan

Professor of the Practice of Law, Executive Director of the Arthur and Toni Rembe Rock Center for Corporate Governance

Mike Callahan is the executive director of the Arthur and Toni Rembe Rock Center for Corporate Governance and Professor of the Practice of Law. In this role, Callahan brings more than 20 years of corporate and general counsel experience to the Rock Center’s mission to advance the understanding and practice of corporate governance.

Before entering academia, Callahan was senior vice president and general counsel at LinkedIn, where he had global responsibility for legal, regulatory and public policy matters, including corporate governance. Before that, Callahan was executive vice president and chief legal officer at Ten-X and executive vice president and general counsel at Yahoo! Inc. Callahan has also held several board positions including on FiscalNote, Inc., the Georgetown Technology Alliance, Joint Venture Silicon Valley, and the Nasdaq Stock Market Listings and Hearings Review Council. Callahan began his legal career as a mergers and acquisitions and corporate associate with Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom.


Joseph A. Grundfest

Joseph A. Grundfest

W.A. Franke Professor of Law and Business, Stanford Law School; Senior Faculty, Rock Center for Corporate Governance; Board Member, KKR; Co-Director, Stanford Directors’ College

Joseph A. Grundfest ’78 is a nationally prominent expert on capital markets, corporate governance, and securities litigation. His scholarship has been published in the Harvard, Yale, and Stanford law reviews, and he has been recognized as one of the most influential attorneys in the United States. Professor Grundfest founded the award-winning Stanford Securities Class Action Clearinghouse, which provides detailed, online information about the prosecution, defense, and settlement of federal class action securities fraud litigation. Professor Grundfest previously served as a commissioner of the Securities and Exchange Commission, and on the staff of the President’s Council of Economic Advisors as counsel and senior economist for legal and regulatory matters.



Amanda K. Packel

Managing Director, Rock Center for Corporate Governance; Co-Director, Stanford Directors’ College

Amanda K. Packel is a corporate governance expert with deep knowledge of emerging challenges facing corporate boards and unique insight into the concerns of institutional investors. She has served since 2015 as Co-Director and lead operator for Stanford Directors’ College. As Managing Director of the Rock Center for Corporate Governance at Stanford University, Amanda also plans the content and marketing strategy for other key Rock Center programs, including the Stanford Institutional Investors’ Forum and the morning speaker series for board members and executives.

Amanda has published articles on board composition and has co-authored a law school textbook, Leadership for Lawyers. As a recognized expert on board refreshment, diversity in leadership, and corporate governance, Amanda is frequently asked to speak to audiences of board members, business leaders, investors, and academics. She also serves on the board of directors of the Thirty Percent Coalition, and she is a Trustee of the Committee for Economic Development (CED). Amanda began her legal career practicing white-collar criminal defense and conducting internal investigations as an attorney at Covington & Burling and at Orrick. She received her J.D. (Order of the Coif) from the University of California, Berkeley School of Law and her A.B. in Economics, magna cum laude, from Princeton University.



The Rock Center for Corporate Governance was founded at Stanford University in 2006 with a generous donation from Arthur and Toni Rembe Rock, with the belief that by examining what constitutes good corporate governance and how to measure it in new and more rigorous ways, we could shape the future of corporate governance. For more information, please visit the Rock Center website.



The Rock Center Affiliates contribute through sponsorship and program input on an annual basis and support sustained scholarship, policy, relevant research and teaching, and program development that bridges the gap between academia and the real world. You can find more information about the Affiliate Program here.