Corporations and those who govern them are challenged on multiple fronts — increasing public and media scrutiny, high shareholder expectations, an ever-changing complex regulatory environment, a turbulent economy, potential personal liability – the pressures and risks are many and growing. Nicole Sandford understands them and focuses her career on helping companies and their board members overcome these issues to operate effectively and risk intelligently. She specializes in board of director and governance consulting, focusing particularly on improving board and board committee practices through a progressive approach to assessment and education.
Nicole is the founder of Deloitte's Diversifying the American Board program, which works to match board-ready executives from nontraditional backgrounds with corporate boards seeking diverse members. She is a frequent speaker on governance issues including appearances at events such as Deloitte's Corporate Governance Dbriefs webcast series, The Conference Board, The Society of Corporate Secretaries and Governance Professionals, Practicing Law Institute, Institute of Internal Auditors, Women Directors' Council and Financial Executives International, as well as many major universities. She has led the publication of several executive reports coauthored by Financial Executives International, including Earnings Guidance: The Current State of Play; Meeting the Street; Audit Committee Trends and Tools; and Audit Committees and Financial Literacy. She recently led the publication of a white paper on board diversity titled "Diversifying the American Board: Thought leaders collaborate on current challenges and practical solutions." Nicole also has been published in Corporate Secretary, BusinessWeek Online, The Wall Street Journal, NACD Directorship, Agenda, and Directors & Boards. In 2008, she was named a "Rising Star of Corporate Governance" by the Millstein Center for Corporate Governance and Performance at Yale University's School of Management. In 2012, Nicole was featured in “The Glass Elevator: A Guide to Leadership Presence for Women on the Rise” published by 85 Broads.
Nicole is a member of the advisory board of the John L. Weinberg Center for Corporate Governance at the University of Delaware, and is a member of the board and audit committee of the Global Partnership for Afghanistan. She is a member of the board of directors of the Society of Corporate Secretaries and Governance Professionals (SCSGP), and serves as the Audit Committee Chair. She co-chairs the Financial Women Association's (FWA) Directorship and Governance Committee, and is a member of the FWA's Programming Leadership Board.
A partner and a practice leader in Deloitte & Touche LLP's National Governance Services, Nicole is a certified public accountant in both Connecticut and New York and serves as the Corporate Governance leader for Deloitte's Northeast region. She has extensive experience in Deloitte's audit practice, focusing primarily on publicly traded SEC registrants. She has served as the lead audit partner for public companies in the manufacturing and technology industries.
"I had no idea where I was going when I started out. Thankfully, that didn't stop me! I have since learned that sometimes the best evidence that you're about to do something truly unique and meaningful is that other people think you're just a little bit nuts."
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