Institute for Foundation Board Leaders and Chief Executives 2023

June 11–13, 2023 | Four Seasons Minneapolis, Minneapolis, MN
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The most important relationship for effective governance at institutionally related foundations is between the board chair and chief executive. To succeed, both must work as a team for the sake of the institution their foundation serves and the students who benefit from that service.

AGB’s Institute for Foundation Board Leaders and Chief Executives is based on AGB’s long-standing and highly acclaimed institutes for public and private universities and colleges.

The value in all AGB’s institute programs is that they enhance the working partnership and governance capability of board chair-chief executive teams.


  • AGB’s renowned institutes are highly engaging, small by design, and for members only – so you get the attention you need.
  • The contemplative environment is suited for focused learning and action planning.
  • Lively, facilitated small group sessions reveal best practices and innovations in governance and examples of effective strategies from other foundations.
  • Chair-chief executive team meetings are interspersed throughout the program and one-on-one consultations provide added guidance.

Six Key Reasons to Attend:

Step away from the day to day, engage in shared planning, and benefit from expert guidance. Board chairs and chief executives will spend dedicated, structured time together. In doing so they will:

  1. Establish mutual expectations around roles and responsibilities
  2. Delve into the dynamics of the foundation-institution relationship: focus on alignment and jointly commit to the foundation’s role in advancing the strategic priorities of the university/college
  3. Establish mutual understanding and a framework for holding each other – and the board – accountable for advancing the foundation’s strategic priorities
  4. Assess the board and develop a unique “governance action plan” for turning board governance into a value-added asset
  5. Receive one-on-one consultation with experts
  6. Share memorable moments with a peer network that can be tapped for support after the institute concludes

Participants will depart having strengthened their team, found answers to emerging challenges, and created a focused agenda that moves both the board and the foundation forward.

Click to view a list of current and past attendees of the Institute for Foundation Board Leaders and Chief Executives.

2023 Registrants
Central Washington University Foundation
Cortland College Foundation, Inc.
George Mason University Foundation, Inc.
Medical College of Virginia Foundation
Medical University of South Carolina Foundation
Missouri State University Foundation
New Mexico State University Foundation, Inc.
The University of Vermont Foundation
University of North Dakota Foundation
University of Nevada Las Vegas Foundation
University of Wisconsin Foundation

Auburn University
Auburn University Foundation
California State University Foundation
College of Charleston Foundation
Medical College of Georgia Foundation, Inc.
Medical College of Virginia Foundation
New Mexico State University Foundation, Inc.
San Francisco State University Foundation
The Fort Lewis College Foundation
The Lander Foundation
University of Alaska Foundation
University of Nevada Las Vegas Foundation
University of Wisconsin-Platteville Foundation

Florida International University Foundation
George Mason University Foundation, Inc.
Georgia State University Foundation
Kansas State University Foundation
Utah State University Foundation
West Virginia University Foundation

Event Resources


*All times Central

Day One: Sunday, June 11, 2023
11:30 AM Lunch available
12:00 – 12:45 PM Welcome and Introductions over lunch
12:45 – 1:45 PM Top Strategic Issues: Closed-Door Facilitated Peer Group Discussions
Board Leaders Confidential
Chief Executives Confidential
1:45 – 2:00 PM Break
2:00 – 2:15 PM Report Back on Top Strategic Issues
2:15 – 4:15 PM

Setting the Stage

  • The Chair and Chief Executive: Partners in Governance
  • The Role of the CEO
  • The Role of the Chair
  • Forging an Effective Partnership
4:15 – 5:00 PM Team Meeting #1: Identifying Opportunities for Growth
5:00 – 5:45 PM Collective Discussion of Opportunities, End of Day Debrief, and Parking Lot Issues
5:45 – 6:00 PM Break
6:00 – 8:00 PM Reception and Dinner

Day Two: Monday, June 12, 2023
7:30 – 8:15 AM Breakfast Conversation with AGB President and CEO Henry Stoever
8:15 – 8:30 AM Break
8:30 – 8:45 AM Setting the Stage: A New Day
8:45 – 9:45 AM

The New Realities for Foundations

  • The evolving role of foundations
  • New realities: Strategic Partner, Innovative Partner, Nimble Partner, Entrepreneurial Partner
9:45 – 11:00 AM Shared Learning: Discussion around New Realities
11:00 – 11:15 AM Break
11:15 AM – 12:00 PM

An Anatomy of Good Board Governance

  • Right Composition
  • Right Focus
  • Right Relationships
  • Principles of Trusteeship
12:00 – 1:30 PM Lunch and Team Meeting #2: Assessing Who You Are and Where You Are Now
1:30 – 2:00 PM

Foundation-Institution Partnership

  • Principles for Effective Foundation-Institution Partnerships
  • Impediments to Collaboration and Red Flags
2:00 – 3:00 PM Panel Discussion: The Essential Leadership Quartet of Institution
President, Institution Board Chair, Foundation CEO, and Foundation Board Chair
3:00 – 4:00 PM Team Meeting #3: Reflecting on the Foundation-Institution Partnership and Strategic Priorities
4:00 – 5:00 PM Collective Discussion on Foundation-Institution Partnerships, End of Day Debrief, Parking Lot Issues
5:00 – 5:45 PM Open Time
5:45 – 8:00 PM Reception and Dinner (Dinner will be served at 6:30 PM.)

Day Three: Tuesday, June 13, 2023
7:30 – 8:15 AM Breakfast
8:15 – 9:15 AM

Building a High-Performing Board

  • Effective Foundation Boards
  • Board Assessment
  • Becoming the Essential Strategic Partner
9:15 – 10:00 AM Final Team Meeting: The Leadership Team Action Plan
10:00 – 11:45 AM Plan Presentations
11:45 AM – 1:00 PM Closing Session and Lunch


Cheri O'Neill, President and CEO of Colorado State University Foundation
Cherí O’Neill

Cherí E. O’Neill is president and CEO of the Colorado State University (CSU) Foundation, which helps promote, develop, and enhance CSU by receiving, managing, and investing all contributions, gifts, and bequests given to the university. A veteran foundation, nonprofit, and advancement leader in the higher education arena, O’Neill most recently was president/CEO of the Ball State University Foundation, where she oversaw a team of seventy-five professionals responsible for development, alumni relations, and stewardship of the endowment. Before that, she was CEO of the 200,000-member Alpha Chi Omega women’s fraternity, its foundation, and its housing corporation. For seventeen years, O’Neill served in increasingly responsible roles, including admissions, international recruiting, alumni relations, and development, for Indiana University, its Kelley School of Business, and its College of Arts and Sciences. 

George Watt, Sr. Fellow AGB Consulting
George P. Watt, Jr.

George Watt Jr. joined AGB as a senior fellow in July 2017, supporting institutionally related foundations. In this role, he assists and advises on programs and research supporting the work of public university foundation boards, including AGB’s Foundation Leadership Forum. Prior to joining AGB, he served as the executive vice president of institutional advancement at the College of Charleston and the executive director of the College of Charleston Foundation. During his tenure in this joint role, the College of Charleston completed its largest and most comprehensive fundraising campaign in its history. Watt came to the College of Charleston from the U.S. Naval Academy Alumni Association and the U.S. Naval Academy Foundation, where he served as the joint president and chief executive officer. In 2005, the Naval Academy Foundation, with Watt at the helm, completed a six-year comprehensive campaign resulting in $254 million in new gift commitments. Prior to his tenure at the Naval Academy, he held executive positions with First Union Corp.’s Enterprise Solutions Group, as well as IBM Consulting Group’s North American Financial Services practice. 

Registration and Refund Policy

Registration Fee – $9,495: The registration fee includes program expenses for both the board chair and the president, private lodging for the nights of June 11 and June 12, meals during the Institute, and program materials. (Third attendee $4747.50)

Accommodations And Travel

Four Seasons Minneapolis
245 Hennepin Avenue
Minneapolis, MN 55401

Cancellation Policy

All cancellations and requests for refunds must be submitted in writing to AGB will issue a full refund if written notification of cancellation is provided to AGB by April 10, 2023 for the summer program. AGB will issue refunds after the meeting. No refunds will be issued for attendees who cancel after this date. AGB is not responsible for cancellations due to airline disruption, inclement weather or schedule changes.

Institute Application

To see a list of member institutions, see the Member List.

Board Chair Information

President/CEO Information

Additional Team Member

Administrative Assistant/Coordinator

Payment and Refund Policies

Please select your preferred payment method. Upon review and acceptance of your application, you will be contacted by the AGB Registrar to complete your payment.

Requests for refunds must be submitted in writing to Cancellations received on or before April 10, 2023 are entitled to a full refund. No refunds will be granted for cancellations after this date.


Hear from those who have attended an AGB Institute for Foundation Board Leaders and Chief Executives.