Programme overview

The St.Gallen Board Academy is a joint initiative by the University of St.Gallen and Egon Zehnder. It has been designed to support participants in preparing for their first non-executive mandate at a large company by bringing them together with incumbent non-executive board members from prominent European companies.

At the St.Gallen Board Academy, chairs and senior board members of Europe’s largest companies will share their experiences, perspectives and best practices with the next generation of Europe’s leading board members. The aim of the programme is to learn from each other and to equip prospective board members with insights and conclusions from decades of real-life boardroom experiences held by the Academy’s Board Faculty.

Note: If you already are a long-serving chair or senior board member of a large, listed company please consider the Academy’s sister programme, the St.Gallen Board Retreat.


Learn more about the programme in a personal conversation.

Georg Guttmann 4

Prof. Dr. Georg Guttmann Head of C-Level and Board Programmes

Target Audience

The St.Gallen Board Academy is aimed at the following participants who wish to prepare themselves for taking up a non-executive mandate at a large company:

  • CEO or CXO (corporate level) from a company with revenues above EUR 2 billion.
  • Senior partner of a leading professional services firm.
  • Successful entrepreneur or accomplished subject matter expert.

All participants will be assessed prior to the programme in order to ensure that relevant peers will meet at the Board Academy. All industries, geographies, and functional backgrounds are welcome.


HSG Illustration Studenten RGB 1 289x300 1 1

Programme Benefits

  • Engage with peers from Europe’s most important boardrooms: 
    At the St.Gallen Board Academy you will engage with distinguished Board Faculty consisting of experienced chairs and board members from some of Europe’s largest companies. In addition, you will meet a carefully selected group of participants who will be your future peers at Europe’s leading boardrooms.
  • Prepare your first non-executive mandate: 
    Prepare your transition into your first non-executive mandate by understanding how the market for board members works and by internalizing the attitude and mindset as well as the dos and don’ts of being an effective board member.
  • Learn from personal experiences and evidence-based insights: 
    Learn from the experiences of our Board Faculty who will share how they have navigated their role as non-executive board member. In addition, you will benefit from the governance expertise of leading academics from University of St.Gallen and the hands-on boardroom insights of senior search and board consultants from Egon Zehnder.


Today’s board members are expected to think more strategic and transformational than ever while having to fit into a governance context of increasing compliance and accountability. Developing into an effective board member requires to rethink one’s role in the organisation which means to embrace a new and often unfamiliar mindset: How to formulate the right questions rather than to make all the decisions? How to let go of your executive persona and transition into a non-executive mindset? How to know when to switch from supportive to interventionist mode in the boardroom?

The highly experienced Board Faculty of the St.Gallen Board Academy will share key learnings from their board tenures and support participants in growing into a non-executive role. The Academy will start with a virtual kick-off followed by an extended on-campus weekend from 22-24 September 2023 at the University of St.Gallen. A mix of plenary sessions and elective break-out discussions will cover both critical governance topics and offer in-depth reflections on focused questions.

The St.Gallen Board Effectiveness Framework will provide structure and conceptual clarity by laying out the critical topics that will be covered during the Board Academy:

SGBA Framework


Board Faculty who have contributed to the St.Gallen Board Academy include: 

  • Jill Ader, Senior Advisor and Fmr. Chair at Egon Zehnder  
  • JC Deslarzes, Chair at Adecco Group AG and Chair at Constellium SE
  • Christoph Franz, Vice Chair at Zurich Insurance Ltd and Board Member Stadler Rail AG
  • Ines Poeschel, Board Member at Alcon Inc and Graubuendner Kantonalbank
  • Hauke Stars, Board Member at Kuehne + Nagel International AG and RWE AG, Member of the Executive Board at Volkswagen AG
  • Malou Aamund, Board Member at DSV A/S and Board Member at KIRKBI, Senior Advisor to EQT
  • Pauline van der Meer Mohr, Board Member at Ahold Delhaize NV, NN Group NV and Viatris Inc., Chair at AM International
  • Peter Voser, Chair at ABB Ltd and Board Member at IBM Corporation
  • Regula Wallimann, Board Member at Straumann Group, Adecco Group AG and Helvetia Holding AG

How to apply

Please click on the registration button on this page to apply. Applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis within 10 business days. After you have been admitted we will schedule a short pre-programme interview where you can indicate your priorities and preferences.  

Why University of St.Gallen

The HSG – your partner for first-class executive education in Switzerland

At the University of St. Gallen (HSG), you can choose from one of the largest executive education portfolios in the German speaking region – the right programme for your needs and career objectives. The renowned quality and practical relevance of the learning experience convinces more than 6000 participants per year. Profit from an Executive Degree from St.Gallen – the best business school in the German-speaking world – and get ahead in your career!

  • For high-quality teaching and executive training by top researchers

  • For competent executives

  • For Lifelong Learning

  • For international collaborations

HSG Illustration WBZ RGB 1