The application for the 2017 Board Institute is now closed. To view a copy of the 2017 application questions, click here. Information about the 2017 application process is available below for informational purposes only. Please contact Beth Barefoot ( with any questions, or to be added to a list of potential applicants we will contact when the 2018 application process opens.


The 2017 Board Institute will take place from October 18-20, 2017 at the New York Hilton Midtown. The Institute will begin on Wednesday with an evening cocktail reception, run from approximately 8:00 a.m. to 9:30 p.m. on Thursday, and through lunch on Friday. Attendance at all Institute sessions and related functions is mandatory. DirectWomen suggests that applicants hold these dates on their calendar. 

In order to best make use of our limited time at the Institute, a handful of pre-Institute assignments are used to help participants prepare prior to the event. These assignments include focused preparation of a board bio, board resume, and an elevator speech.  You should expect that this work will require up to ten hours per month in the months leading up to the Institute. Three mandatory pre-Institute calls will guide you through the preparation of these materials, and provide other information about the Institute.

For those selected to participate in the Board Institute, there is an Institute fee of $3,500. Full payment of the Institute fee will be required within one month of acceptance to the 2017 Institute. We expect to notify applicants of their status before March 2017. 

If you have additional questions about DirectWomen, the Board Institute, or its application process, please contact Beth Barefoot at


The application period for the 2017 Board Institute ended on December 9, 2016. The following instructions are provided only as a guide of what future applicants can expect.

The application can be completed at To apply, create an account and ensure that the following components are uploaded by 11:59 p.m. EDT on December 9:

  • An uploaded resume. The resume is required to include basic contact information (including phone numbers, email address, and mailing address); employment information, including current position/title, major contributions in current job and two most recent jobs; education history; and leadership positions or industry associations.
  • An uploaded headshot
  • A completed application form, available at the online portal. Progress may be saved, so the application does not need be completed one sitting.
  • Two letters of reference. The most effective references are usually from a CEO, board chair, or the managing partner of a law firm. References are given substantial weight in the selection process. Reference letters should include a description of the applicant's qualifications for board service, and an evaluation of business skills and strategic judgment. Applicants are responsible for making sure reference letters are received by the due date. Reference letters can be uploaded directly by applicants, or emailed to Beth Barefoot at
  • Payment of the $150 application fee. Payment can be made by check or credit card. Please make checks out to “DirectWomen/Tides” and send to:

Bobbi Liebenberg
Fine, Kaplan and Black, R.P.C.
One South Broad Street, Suite 2300
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania  19107

To pay by credit card, please call Beth Barefoot with your card number, expiration date, and billing address. Applications will not be considered unless the application fee has been paid.