ESG — environmental, social, and governance — is a rapidly growing and complex landscape. From diversity to supply-chain due diligence to reducing carbon emissions, ESG cuts across vastly different corporate functions. As this course will reveal, ESG is not a discrete set of issues, but a powerful process for managing risk and leveraging business advantage.

Investors and other key stakeholders recognize that ESG is a proxy for effective risk oversight, and there is increasing pressure on board members to focus on ESG issues. But given its breadth, how to do so remains unclear. This course answers that challenge, pinpointing how corporate board members, whose legal duties and strategic roles are very different from management, can embed ESG into board operations.

To ensure that we have tailored this course for corporate directors, we convened an advisory council, composed of corporate board members, investors, senior executives, legal advisors, and ESG experts. This introductory course, which is designed to be completed in six hours, incorporates their practical insights, the cutting-edge research of Berkeley Law faculty, and industry-leading reports published by Ceres.

Location & Dates




September 12 – December 12, 2022

Time Commitment: 6 hours of active work


This course is divided into the following seven modules:

  • Module 1: Defining Corporate Purpose, ESG, and Stakeholder Governance
  • Module 2: Communicating with Investors on ESG
  • Module 3: Identifying, Assessing, and Mitigating ESG Risks
  • Module 4: Structuring Board Oversight of ESG
  • Module 5: Target Setting, Transition Planning, and Executive Compensation
  • Module 6: Aligning Climate Lobbying with ESG Commitments
  • Module 7: Disclosing ESG Risks and Opportunities

Course Design

Tuition & Discounts

General Tuition


Berkeley Alumni*

$1,275 Save 15%

Group Rate*

per person (for groups of three of more)

$1,275 Save 15%

Special Rates*

Ceres Network Member*




*To receive one of the special discounted rates listed above, please email to request a promo code.


Certificate Type

Certificate of Completion

Participants who complete all six modules and write at least six reflections will earn a Certificate of Completion for ESG: Navigating the Board’s Role from Berkeley Law Executive Education.

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Course Convenors

Berkeley Law’s Business in Society Institute

Society’s expectations of companies are changing, and companies are responding. Many companies today go beyond legal compliance to implement policies in line with the values of their shareholders, employees, customers, and other stakeholders. An increasing number are engaging in activities that were traditionally conducted by governments and nonprofits. Navigating fiduciary duties and competing stakeholder interests raises a number of complex corporate governance questions. The Business in Society Institute’s mission is to help define this new articulation of corporate purpose. We conduct our mission by 1) preparing the next generation of leaders, 2) publishing thought leadership, and 3) collaborating with and designing executive education for corporate executives, board members, investors, corporate counsel, and NGOs.

As part of UC Berkeley, the world’s leading public university, supporting the private sector’s commitment to solving societal issues is core to our public mission. For more information about the Business in Society Institute please visit our website.

Headshot of Amelia Miazad

Amelia Miazad

Founding Director, Business in Society Institute at Berkeley Law

Professor Miazad is widely recognized as an expert in ESG. She teaches courses at the intersection of sustainability, corporate governance, and compliance. Her recent publications explore sustainability and ESG as a process for overseeing risk and a powerful tool for transforming corporate culture. Professor Miazad’s curriculum and scholarship rely on input from experts who are implementing environmental and social considerations into their business practices. This pedagogical approach, which blends theory and practice, is reflected in the design of this course.

Her recent publications explore sustainability and ESG as a process for overseeing risk and a powerful tool for transforming corporate culture and include: The Hidden Power of Compliance (Minnesota Law Review, 2019), Sex, Power, and Corporate Governance (UC Davis Law Review, 2021), and Corporate Law and Social Risk (Vanderbilt Law Review, 2020). Prosocial Antitrust (Hastings Law Journal, 2021).


Ceres is a sustainability nonprofit organization working with the most influential investors and companies to build leadership and drive solutions throughout the economy. Through powerful networks and advocacy, Ceres tackles the world’s biggest sustainability challenges, including climate change, water scarcity and pollution, and inequitable workplaces. Our mission: Ceres is transforming the economy to build a sustainable future for people and the planet. For more information about Ceres’ work, please visit

Headshot of Mindy S. Lubber

Mindy S. Lubber

CEO and President at Ceres

Mindy Lubber is the CEO and President of the sustainability nonprofit organization Ceres. She leads an all-women executive leadership team and 125 employees working to mobilize the most influential investors and companies to tackle the world’s biggest sustainability challenges: climate change, water scarcity, and pollution, and inequitable workplaces.  She has been at the helm since 2003, and under her leadership, the organization and its powerful networks have grown significantly in size and influence. She has received numerous awards for her leadership. In 2020, Lubber received the ‘Champions of the Earth’ award – the highest environmental honor from the United Nations.

As a well-known global thought leader, Lubber has inspired coalitions of institutional investors, corporate boards, C-suite executives, and other capital market leaders to factor environmental, social, and governance issues into decision-making. She is frequently quoted in top business and financial news outlets and pens a regular column for on a variety of sustainability topics that have strengthened the business case for action and elevated concepts, such as climate and water risk. She also regularly speaks to high-level world and national political leaders on clean energy and water policies and has helped to change the political conversation around tackling climate change to one focused on jobs and the economy. And in 2015, Lubber helped catalyze the necessary business support to get the historic Paris Agreement across the finish line, leading Vogue Magazine to name her a “Climate Warrior.”

Prior to Ceres, Mindy served as a Regional Administrator at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency under former President Bill Clinton. She also founded Green Century Capital Management and served as the director of the Massachusetts Public Interest Research Group (MASSPIRG)

Advisory Council

Headshot of Allison Bennington

Allison Bennington

Partner at PJT Partners

Headshot of Tanuja Dehne

Tanuja Dehne

President & CEO at Geraldine R. Dodge Foundation

Headshot of Robert Eccles

Robert Eccles

Visiting Professor of Management Practice at Saïd Business School, University of Oxford

Headshot of Nancy Floyd

Nancy Floyd

Founder and Managing Director at Nth Power

Headshot of Steven Hoch

Steven Hoch

Senior Advisor at Brown Advisory

Headshot of Suz MacCormac

Suz MacCormac

Partner & Co-Chair of the Energy and Cleantech Groups at Morrison & Foerster | Member of President’s Council of Ceres

Headshot of Phillip Rudolph

Phillip Rudolph

Chair of the Board at Corporate Directors Forum

Headshot of Bill Savitt

Bill Savitt

Partner at Wachtell, Lipton, Rosen & Katz

Headshot of Anne Simpson

Anne Simpson

Interim Managing Investment Director, Board Governance & Sustainability at CalPERS

Headshot of Tim Youmans

Tim Youmans

Director at Hermes EOS


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