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CDF Names Jessica Grounds New CEO

Corporate Directors Forum (CDF) has announced that its CEO, Christina de Vaca, will be retiring early in 2023, and that its board of directors has appointed Jessica N. Grounds to become Chief Executive Officer effective January 3, 2023.

Jessica Grounds

Grounds is an internationally recognized leadership expert whose career has focused on developing the next generation of leaders across business and politics.

Currently, she is the co-founder of Mine The Gap, which partners with Fortune 500 companies, organizations and government agencies to create more effective and inclusive workplaces.

Over the past two decades, Grounds has facilitated cutting-edge leadership programs with global organizations including: Walmart, Lockheed Martin, Deloitte, Amazon, Federal Aviation Administration, and the San Diego Regional Chamber of Commerce.

She serves on Nasdaq’s Center for Board Excellence Insights Council and on the board of Running Start. She recently served as an advisor for UN Women’s We Empower G7 Programme.

Grounds has been profiled in Bloomberg, Fast Company, Roll Call, The Hill, NPR, ELLE, National Journal, Washington Post, San Diego Union Tribune, Politico, Marie Claire, Sage publications, and Forbes.

She recently co-authored a series of reports about the impact of SB 826, the first-in-the-nation legislation to require women board directors on publicly held companies headquartered in California and served as an expert witness on related court cases.

Grounds has received multiple awards including The New Guard: America’s 50 Most Influential Women by Marie Claire magazine, “40 Under 40” recipient by the American Association of Political Consultants, Outstanding Pepperdine University Alumni, and the 2022 Magis Award from her alma mater Georgetown University McDonough School of Business.

“I could not be more honored to lead this incredible organization,” Grounds said. “Companies today are facing a host of new global challenges and a significant pace of change. The work of CDF to equip board directors and organizational leaders with the tools and resources to be successful is as crucial as ever. I’m looking forward to building on Christina de Vaca’s exceptional work of making CDF the influential and innovative group it is today.”

Phil Rudolph, chairman of the CDF board, said: “The board and I are immeasurably grateful to Christina de Vaca for the amazing job she’s done as CEO of Corporate Directors Forum, and we wish her well-deserved happiness in her retirement. We are also thrilled to welcome Jessica to CDF. Her talents, skills, background and temperament are perfectly suited to leading CDF into its exciting new future.”

Corporate Directors Forum is a San Diego-based membership organization for board directors and executives. Founded in 1991, its mission is to provide best-in-class training, education and networking opportunities that equip leaders to guide their organizations effectively.

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