Feedback From Our
Program Participants

Our Alumni and our Faculty are the centre of our universe both during the program and after. Here’s what they have to say about our Programs.

More Testimonials

Agnes K Y Tai

Agnes K Y Tai

Director, Great Glory Investment Corp; Senior Partner/Responsible Officer, Yaozhi Asset Management International

Highly recommended for business leaders who wish to broaden perspectives and deepen knowledge around climate governance and sustainability…I’ve benefited from practical insights shared by the seasoned speakers and my well-experienced cohort. Thanks to Helle and her wonderful team for this high-quality program.

Catherine Reynolds

Catherine Reynolds

Independent Chair and Non-Executive Director, MI Global Partners

I can’t applaud Competent Boards’ approach to governance enough. Helle and her extraordinary cohort of guest speakers, global ESG experts and proven organisational innovators are rapidly educating board directors and executives to actively transition to net zero. Educate yourself and be prepared to rethink everything you thought you knew.


Rita Lazar-Tippe

2021 CIO of the Year; Board Member; Director of Information, Data Insights, Innovation, and IT

A great program both in content and global peer networking.

Hillary Thatcher

Hillary Thatcher

Senior Director, Indigenous and Northern Infrastructure, Canada Infrastructure Bank

This was an incredible program with outstanding faculty and a fabulous and diverse network of peers – a global experience indeed. Thank you Competent Boards for a remarkable experience!


Alizabeth Calder

Independent Director; CIO

An excellent program in both depth and breadth. The best director-relevant ESG program available – well worth the time and investment.

Karen McDonald

Karen McDonald

Director, Government Relations Central 1 Credit Union

When I enrolled in the program, my understanding of the implications of climate change to my company was superficial, at best.  The program struck a great balance that made it relevant and useful to a “beginner” like me, but also provided a deeper dive that engaged those with more robust experience and knowledge. It really drove home that climate change is a risk and responsibility every sector must manage.

Emily Waita Macharia

Emily Waita Macharia

Africa Public Affairs Director For Coca-Cola Africa

I wanted to understand various aspects of climate change, how they are being addressed and how best to influence key stakeholders and other leaders to make meaningful change. I learnt new concepts that I didn’t even know existed. This program gave me a thorough deep dive and world-class perspectives on effectively addressing climate change.

Catherine Sigmar

Catherine Sigmar

VP Strategy & Chief Legal Officer, Tecsys Canada

The program delivered practical guidance on how to embed climate risk into business strategy. I left the program much more knowledgeable and with actionable objectives. I highly recommend the program to anyone who wants to learn to navigate these issues in an intelligent and professional way. I look at my role and our company’s future through an entirely new lens. It was excellent.

Mel Hewitson

Mel Hewitson


The program’s focus on aligning and integrating climate action with the company’s purpose and long term value creation was key for me. I now feel better equipped to lead my board colleagues and engage with those advising us in this critical area of accountability to our stakeholders.

Joy Jennissen

Joy Jennissen

Board Chair, Dr Peter AIDS Foundation; Advisor, Jennissen Group

I really enjoyed connecting with colleagues around the world and was very impressed with the calibre of speakers and program. I am looking forward to implementing the learnings and insights I have gathered and I would highly recommend this program. Join me in guiding all boards toward climate competency!

Peter Bowie

Peter Bowie

Independent Director, Magna International, Xebec, FedNav, DMZ Accelerator, Ryerson University

The practical learning from the combination of knowledgeable global leaders in a variety of industrial and academic organizations, the experience and expertise of the program’s leaders, and regular interactions with the participating board members, from many countries and organizations, was remarkable. The program exceeded my expectations.

Lisa Dominato

Lisa Dominato

Vancouver City Councillor, Canada

I learned a lot and really enjoyed the format. I think the content was extraordinarily well done.

Henning Stein

Global Head of Thought Leadership, Invesco (Switzerland)

I would not just recommend it – I would insist upon it! This has been by far one of the most worthwhile initiatives I have taken part in during my continuing professional development. The program is superbly constructed, supremely relevant and highly effective.

Another great reason for participating is the opportunity to meet so many amazing people. The whole experience has been extremely rewarding on every level.

Pamela Strifler

Vice President of Global Stakeholder Strategy and Affairs, Bayer Crop Science

I would highly recommend the Competent Boards Program as you will hear from Global leaders, engage in real-time issues and dive into the complexities that Boards must consider in decision making, including ESG which affects the long-term reputation and viability of the company. This program is for current executives, management teams presenting to Boards or prospective Board members.

Lee Kindberg

Head of Environment, Health, Safety and Sustainability for Maersk Line in North America

As a result of taking this program I’ve found increased sophistication in my thinking about the issues and in the information and thoughts I provide both internally and externally. The quality of the speakers and materials is exceptional, and the execution of the distance learning concept is the best I have ever experienced.

Eric Wetlaufer

Member, Board of Directors, TMX Group & Investment Management Corporation of Ontario (IMCO)

The Competent Boards Program is hands down the best director education out there. Global in its scope, deep in its content, extraordinary speakers and excellent interactivity, I am so glad I found it (or it found me!)

Leslie F. Seidman

Leslie F. Seidman

Former Chair, Financial Accounting Standards Board (Fasb), Non-Executive Director and Audit Chair, Moody’s Corp. & General Electric

I think this program is more relevant than ever, and I would highly recommend it. I feel better equipped to oversee ESG and sustainability issues in my board rooms. Take a look at the topics covered over the 12 sessions to give yourself a sense of the breadth and depth of the curriculum.

Paul Polman

Paul Polman

Business leader, campaigner, co-author of “Net Positive"

Incredible initiative. Competent Boards shares knowledge, experience and insight to help train board members on how to capitalize on the opportunities the SDGs present. I urge all leaders to stay informed and check out the global programs that Competent Boards offers.

Maria Jamriska-Mulder

Senior Advisor, Central Risk Management, ABN AMRO Bank and Co-Owner/Director, Apollo Capital

The insights, oversights and perspectives have definitely strengthened my mindset towards the need for integrated opportunity, risk and impact thinking, acting and reporting, with the SDGs as a lighthouse. Not only will I recommend the program to my peers, but would also like to come back one year from now as the pace of the sustainability space is fast moving and dynamic.

Katie Schmitz Eulitt

Director, Investor Outreach at SASB – Sustainability Accounting Standards Board, USA

I highly recommend the Competent Boards Certificate Program. The case study-based program puts one in the proverbial shoes of corporate board members re-examining the strategies and practices of the companies of which they are stewards, related to ESG issues which many corporate boards are currently ill-equipped to do. This certificate program is well worth your time and investment.

Poonam Madan

Director, Sustainability Strategy and Reporting, Capital Power

I have not seen that wealth of experience and engagement in any other program related to this topic making the program exceptionally unique. My cohort of very senior and executive leaders brought their experiences forward, and the structure of the program allowed us to share our ideas in a very pragmatic way, only enhancing our learnings.

Tim Bekhuys

Vice President, Environment & Community Relations at SSR Mining

I would without hesitancy recommend this Program to others. The speakers were incredible and the structure was well suited to professionals. As ESG continues to gain importance in the Boardroom, the CB Certificate Program will prepare current and future board members for the challenge.

Monique Kack-North

Vice President, Supply Chain Solutions, Logistics Solutions & Services Inc.

I thoroughly enjoyed the bi-weekly session discussions with exceptionally talented and diverse fellow cohorts from which I increased my knowledge and insights. I highly recommend this program to others and have colleagues that have signed up to also experience this unique learning opportunity.

Maureen Metcalf

Founder and CEO, Innovative Leadership Institute

I believe the Competent Boards program is the most comprehensive in the market, and ESG needs to be a crucial focus for effective board members in the future. I gained a much more comprehensive understanding of the breadth and depth of ESG topics and how to put them into practice as a board member. I highly recommend the program. The speakers are the top people in the world in their fields.

Genevieve Young

Independent Director, Auxly Cannabis Group; Chair, Audit Committee; Director, Hello.Me

As a Chair I was looking to understand the ESG landscape as the organization is just embarking on its own ESG path. I didn’t feel equipped to effectively participate in this discussion. Now, I feel like I have a sufficiently wide and deeper understanding of not only the upcoming disclosure requirements but also the opportunities inherent in an effective ESG program.

Christine Diamante

Managing Director, Business Transformation, BSR

I gained an extraordinary network of colleagues who I look forward to engaging with and continuously learning from. I can’t recommend the program enough to any interested leaders!

Anar Shamji Popatia

Corporate Director

The program surpassed my expectations! It was excellent in its delivery, content and relevance. Hearing from international esteemed speakers and working with a cohort of directors from around the world gave me a global perspective of emerging issues and opportunities facing directors today. I highly recommend the program to those who want to future-proof their boards.

Juan Copeland

CEO, Corporate Properties of the Americas

It was an eye opener and a great start to better understand high-impact areas that world-class companies are looking at today and what sustainability leaders are focusing their time and effort on.

Pia Laub

Board Member, ALM. Brand A/S, The Danish National Center for Grief and the New Carlsberg Glyptotek

I had high expectations before joining the program, and I got even more out of it. It gave me a tremendous amount of inspiration and new insights. I feel the program has contributed significantly to my personal development and strengthened the competencies and skills that I bring to use in my board positions. I see it as an extremely relevant and high-quality program for board members and business leaders, both with regards to content and to learning process.

Shailesh Haribhakti

Chairman, Blue Star LTD, Larsen&Toubro Financial Holdings LTD, NSDL E-Governance Infrastructure Co of India LTD, and Independent Director of Lafarge Holcim Subsidiaries, ACCLTD and Ambuja Cements LTD.

The permanent value I have derived is so immense, that anyone acceding to my recommendation to take this course is likely to be grateful!

Thomas Gann

Thomas Gann

Chief Public Policy Officer, Mcafee, LLC

Helle Bank Jorgensen and her team at ESG Competent Boards do an amazing job of keeping Directors up to date on the most cutting issues facing management today. On a personal note, I cannot think of a professional who I have enjoyed working with more than Helle – she is a total professional and an ace in every way. She is very deserving of the peer recognition she has received.

Vibeke Bak-Solok

Board Member Co-Ro and Danica Pension Norway, Former EVP and COO for Group Risk Functions, Danske Bank

The Competent Boards Certificate programme gave me valuable knowledge on sustainability, ESG, and how global leaders are working to change the mindset of individuals across a variety of industries.

Anirban Ghosh

Chief Sustainability Officer Mahindra Group

A pandemic like COVID-19 amplifies uncertainties. In this milieu, the programs done by ESG Competent Boards enable a pragmatic and positive perspective on the way forward where economic, social and environmental sustainability are intertwined.

Tamara Somers

Director, Sustainability & ESG, Xero Ltd

This was a tremendous opportunity to connect with professionals from every continent who are involved in advising Boards on critical issues. The curriculum was rich and the number of senior executives with whom we had the chance to interact was nothing short of extraordinary.

Jennifer Varey

Director, CSR & Community Investments, Enbridge, Canada

By focusing on the role of the board, and those within companies who advise boards, ESG Competent Boards is addressing a unique need at a critical time for corporates facing higher expectations from their employees, shareholders and customers around ESG and corporate responsibility. There really is no other leadership forum that can compete.

Tanya Dos Santos

Global Head of Sustainability, Investec, South Africa

I have been blown away by the ability to connect with the most highly profiled CEOs and experts in their fields and to draw insights from them that are immensely valuable to board members. I also love the compassion that ESG Competent Boards has shown in allowing a percentage of the program fee to go to a person in need during COVID-19. That is important for us as leaders to see from other leaders.

John M. Mcmillin lll

Board Member/Limited Partner, Lord Abbett, USA

As a board member, I can now better identify and act on the most material environmental, social and governance aspects of the business. More than anything, this program helps me ask the right questions.

Soledad Matteozzi

Argentine and New York Attorney, Counsel at Alfaro-Abogados (Argentine Law Firm); Executive Director at the Argentine-American Chamber of Commerce

This is a unique program, unlike anything else that I have seen. Post-Covid, it is even more relevant due to the flexibility of the online classes/session and the importance of addressing ESG issues and macro trends that will affect us all in the short and long term.

Pernille Dahlgaard

Chairman of the Board of Ministeriernes Boernehave. Board Member, Loyalme and Danish Business Association in Singapore. Vice President, Group Finance at PSA International Pte LTD

I am not aware of any other executive ESG training of this calibre. Many courses are a few hours or so. This is a proper education with excellent faculty, relevant cases, thorough discussions and full coverage of all ESG angles. In an increasingly ESG focused world, the Competent Boards certificate is an absolute must have.

Louis-Martin Richer

Senior Vice President, Marsh Canada Limited

ESG Competent Boards is not about telling people what they should do but instead giving people tools and building soft skills to have informed conversations that lead to sound decisions about how to do things better. So many times, we ask ourselves, what are our peers are doing? ESG Competent Boards provides the forum to get some answers.

Leesa Muirhead

Strategy and Development Lead at World Benchmarking Alliance, Netherlands & UK

My experience with ESG Competent Boards was exemplary – ESG Competent Boards is clearly committed to supporting high-performance outcomes on an ambitious goal, which is combining sustainable development leaders within successful businesses.

Peter Dey

Chairman, Paradigm Capital INC and the “Godfather of Canadian Governance”

We know that Governance will be different on the other side of the pandemic. We don’t know how different. But we know that the pandemic has exposed many of the weaknesses in our Governance systems and is giving us an opportunity to rethink Governance. ESG Competent Boards is way out in front in helping us to identify the weaknesses in our current system and helping us to respond.

Andrea Palmer

Product Specialist, Triodos IM | President, Net Impact Amsterdam, The Netherlands

ESG Competent Boards has brought together some of the world’s most inspiring sustainability leaders to teach and steer the course of corporate impact from the highest level of governance.

Phoenix Zhang

Managing Director, CSR Solutions Limited

This is a great course which has lots of fantastic speakers and contributors sharing their knowledge and insight. The course design is very unique and time efficient. I enjoyed it a lot! I would definitely recommend it.

Ian Robertson

Vice President, Director & Portfolio Manager, Odlum Brown

The ESG Competent Boards course was excellent. What was so good – and made the course so different than other courses – was the level of dialogue that the moderators fostered. Their expert views and experiences, along with the high-level input from other course participants were a powerful combination. Rather than ‘spoon-feed’ participants a ‘this is how you do it’ diet, the interactive format allowed us to draw real life lessons that we can bring to our own boards.

Josée Morin

Board Director, CIMA+ and Knowledge First Financial

I found the interactive content to be insightful and challenging, and the case discussions brought all the content into perspective. One of the most valuable aspects was the richness of interaction between the participants and speakers, which come from a wide variety of backgrounds, countries and experiences, deepening the learnings from the program. A top tier governance certificate program.


Jan-Maarten Mulder

Board Member, Root Capital & Digital Divide Data

Having considered several executive board programs, I am glad I chose to participate in the ESG Competent Boards Certificate Program. I have gained practical insights that I deploy in my board work already. Highly recommended for any board member!

Anna Tudela

Board Member, CCDI, and Regulus Resources Inc; Chair, Governance and Nominating Committee, Sabina Gold and Silver Corp.

As a Corporate Secretary, I’ve seen board members not asking the right questions. Every company should consider asking at least one or two of their board members to enroll and attend the ESG program. This program is superb and I consider myself lucky to have been a part of it.

Allen White

Vice President and Senior Fellow, Tellus Institute and Co-Founder, Global Reporting Initiative, Corporation 2020, and Global Initiative for Sustainability Ratings

Corporate boards are custodians of the long-term well-being of the enterprise. In a turbulent world replete with economic, social and ecological uncertainties, effective custodianship requires both clarity of corporate purpose and a deep understanding of the systemic risks impinging upon the organization’s future. I applaud ESG Competent Boards for devising an innovative educational and convening strategy to realize both of these critical objectives.

Ani Hotoyan-Joly

Independent Corporate Director

My classmates and I learned from each other and we developed lifelong friendships. I left each one of the 12 sessions invigorated and excited about the opportunity to apply what I have learned and through this process, I believe I have become a more valuable board member. Even if you have other board designations, you will still benefit from this very insightful and valuable certificate program.

Lars Storr-Hansen

Director, Storr-Hansen Consulting; Former Deputy Chairman, PensionDanmark

The Competent Board Certificate Program is a great toolbox for both Boards and Boards Advisors to learn about ESG issues. Twelve modules cover the most pressing ESG issues of the moment, with advice and insights presented by some of the world’s most respected business, investment and sustainability leaders. The program format is easy to follow and is a great road into the future.

Julie Hansen

Global Executive Advisor, Salesforce

There are growing expectations that companies actively manage and govern toward a broader set of sustainable measures and responsibilities when defining success today and as part of a sustainable future. This course provides consumable content by relevant experts who cut-to-the-chase on what needs to be addressed and monitored by today’s corporate board.

Herman Mulder

Co-Founder and Chair, Impact Economy Foundation; Chair, SDG Charter Netherlands; Former Chair, Global Reporting Initiative; and Former Director-General ABN Amro Bank

The ESG Competent Boards program is a unique, insight-raising, thought-provoking and action-inspiring platform among a great diversity of business leaders, linking yesterday’s learnings and today’s realities with future perspectives.

Peggie Pelosi GCB.D

Peggie Pelosi

Executive Director | Innovators Alliance, Board Member Usana Health Sciences Inc. (Nyse: USNA)

A curriculum that provides corporate board members and advisors the insight, awareness and competencies to effectively identify and oversee the associated business risks and opportunities.

Judith Mosely

Non-Executive Director of Galiano Gold, Blackrock World Mining Trust and Women in Mining UK, and Trustee of the Camborne School of Mines Trust

ESG Competent Boards has been able to bring together not only excellent opinion leaders from industry and academia but also a broad church of board members. I have been incredibly impressed by the scope and depth of the program. The materials are extensive and topical and the CB organization under Helle’s leadership is really professional. It was a really enjoyable 6 months.

Nik Gowing

Nik Gowing

Founder, Director, Co-Author ‘thinking the Unthinkable’; Main Presenter, BBC World News 1996-2014

The ESG Competent Boards initiative has been ahead of its time. COVID-19 has created the existential threats for boards that many members had seemed to regard as unthinkable. That is why ESG Competent Boards is rightly having its moment. Its programme is a must for opening board eyes and minds to the new, unthinkable and existential realities we all confront.

Stine Birk

International Boards Include DNB Bank, ATP Pension and Industriens Pension

You get great value for your money with this program. The speakers are very experienced business leaders that provide inspirational insight from an international and business perspective. The program has definitely extended the toolbox for my future board work, bringing ESG better into play to create value for the business, shareholders and stakeholders.

Chad Holliday

Former Chair, Royal Dutch Shell and Bank of America

There are a lot of development programs out there. This one is very, very, unique. You gain from talking to people that come from different walks of life, different companies and different situations, which prepares you to be a better board member.

Doris Honold

Doris Honold

Non-executive director at Credit Suisse International, Chair of Board Risk Committee

As a new-ish Non-Executive Director I was keen to get more familiar with the key challenges boards grapple with. It’s a fantastic network of NED’s, excellent discussions and intellectual stimulation on the most current and pressing issues facing boards. It provides a fantastic collection of relevant reference material, which I am actually using in my NED work. The whole program is well thought through and tailored for global board leaders or those that aspire to become one.

Welcome, which course are you interested in:

Primarily discuss the topics through the lens of serving on the board. You must be serving on at least one board with fiduciary responsibility to enter this stream.

Discuss the topics through a wide range of business perspectives (including the board) and comprise senior executives, investors, and board advisors.

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