Thomas A. Cole has enjoyed three outstanding careers—as an M&A and corporate governance lawyer, as the chair of the executive committee of the Chicago-based and internationally acclaimed law firm Sidley Austin LLP, and as a corporate governance adjunct professor at the University of Chicago and Harvard Law Schools. He has also made time for civic engagement (he’s on the University of Chicago Board of Trustees and previously chaired the board of Northwestern Memorial Healthcare) and is a devoted husband, father of four daughters and a grandfather.
He possesses a rare combination of intellect, insight, common sense, and desire to serve—which surely propelled his career advising corporate leaders and boards. As an adjunct law professor, Cole developed a defining curriculum on “New Era” or 21st century corporate governance, which thoughtfully addresses issues related to Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR), Environment Social and Governance (ESG), impact Investing, activist shareholders and mercurial founders. He just published a book “CEO Leadership—Navigating The New Era in Corporate Governance,” (University of Chicago Press 2019), which encapsulates that curriculum and illustrates it with helpful anecdotes from his career.
Cole recently sat down with Better Founder Susan B. Noyes to discuss the book and the curriculum that guides it.
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