Nell Minow '77 Leads Push for Corporate Reform

The study of corporate governance was barely emerging in 1985 when Nell Minow—pregnant with her second child and looking for a part-time job—entered the field with modest ambitions.

“I really didn’t care too much what the job was. I just wanted it to be interesting, and I wanted to be on the side with the good guys,” says Minow, JD’77.

From that humble start, Minow has built a formidable career that changed the face of corporate America. She and her business partner, Robert A.G. Monks, have worked with shareholders to improve corporate boards and replace poor-performing CEOs, while helping those organizations focus on executive engagement and accountability. Lately Minow and Monks’ efforts are grabbing the attention of key decision-makers, in corporations and in government.

Minow met recently with a small group of experts to advise Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner on concerns over soaring executive compensation. Her expertise in the field has few peers; Minow, 58, has written more than 200 articles and co-authored three books on securities law, shareholder rights, and the modern corporation, including the leading business school text. She has testified before Congress and advised on key legislation for reforming corporate governance.

Beyond her high-powered corporate work, Minow has cultivated a second role as film critic, writing reviews of movies for children and teens for a variety of venues, most recently in her “Movie Mom” blog at Minow revels in her disparate roles, testifying before Congress one day, rushing to review Toy Story 3 the next.

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