Announcement of the first-ever “Ethical Leader of the Year Award”

ALEXANDRIA, Virginia–(BUSINESS WIRE)–SHRM (The Society for Human Resource Management), in partnership with the William G. McGowan Charitable Fund, a family foundation dedicated to promoting the compassionate philanthropy and ethical leadership of William G. McGowan, is pleased to announce the first‑ever “Ethical Leader of the Year Award,” to be presented by the William G. McGowan Charitable Fund during the opening session of SHRM’s annual conference and expo in New Orleans on June 12. Applications are open from today.

Twelve years ago, the McGowan Fund’s Board of Trustees made a new commitment to ethical leadership by launching the McGowan Fellows program, dedicated to including its “principles of ethical leadership” in the MBA and other leadership programs, in conjunction with 10 of the country’s leading universities. The program’s success in the eyes of participating students and institutions and its focus on ethical leadership during this time of crisis in America led The McGowan Fund to establish the Ethical Leader of the Year award, which will be presented for the first times. This year.

SHRM, the world’s largest professional association of human resources professionals, has a long-standing commitment to upholding the highest principles of ethical leadership. Therefore, it is fitting that the award be presented during the opening session of SHRM’s annual conference and exhibition, which is expected to welcome more than 15,000 attendees in person and virtually.

“The key to building a strong culture within an organization is ensuring that ethics are defined, understood and practiced in the workplace,” said Johnny C. Taylor, Jr., SHRM-SCP, Chairman and CEO of SHRM. “I’m thrilled to be a judge on the Ethical Leader of the Year Awards committee and to recognize a SHRM22 CEO who is causing the effect we want to see in the workplace by going above and beyond to establish a high standard of ethics within their leadership and organization.

McGowan Fund Executive Director Diana Spencer said: “The 2008 financial crisis once served as a catalyst illustrating the clear and present need for ethical leaders to guide the country towards recovery. In 2022, the COVID-19 outbreak has brought both new and long-standing disparities to the forefront of America, once again calling on a new generation of leaders to lead by example; to support a generation of school children who continue to slip behind their more privileged peers; to reach entire communities without telehealth or accessible health care; help families of workers unable to get to work; and to ultimately rejuvenate a nation shaken by the continued ramifications of the pandemic.

Once nominations are submitted, the final list of nominees will be determined by a committee of national leaders, including the following judges:

  • Marna C. Whittington, Co-chair of the committee. Marna brings to the leadership role of the Selection Committee her experience on the boards of Phillips 66, Macy’s and Oaktree Capital, as well as leadership roles at Morgan Stanley and Allianz.
  • Leo DenaultChairman and CEO of Entergy Corporation.
  • Dan CardinaliPresident and CEO of the independent sector.
  • Caroline W. NahasSenior Advisor at Korn Ferry and Chairman of the Advisory Board of the Anderson School of Management at UCLA.
  • Johnny C. Taylor, Jr.Chairman and CEO of SHRM.

Diana Spencer added, “In 2022, American business leaders face very complex and new challenges, many of which have never been faced before. Their stakeholders, customers, employees and those they serve speak loud and clear about what they expect from their leaders, as the nation and its businesses navigate their way through all the difficult conditions. We believe that the best leaders approach these challenges with a well-defined ethical framework. They use this framework to make their decisions about how to achieve their business goals, while being accountable and responsive to the needs of society, their customers, and their employees. We are thrilled to present the Ethical Leader of the Year award at SHRM’s 2022 Annual Conference & Expo, in front of so many people with whom we share a commitment to ethical leadership.

To attend SHRM22, press registration is required. To request free press references, contact Mallory Flynn at [email protected]

About SHRM

SHRM, the Society for Human Resource Management, creates better workplaces where employers and employees thrive together. As the voice of all things work, workers and the workplace, SHRM is the foremost expert, convener and thought leader on issues impacting the changing workplaces of today. With more than 300,000 HR members and business leaders in 165 countries, SHRM impacts the lives of more than 115 million workers and families around the world. Learn more at and on Twitter @SHRM.

About the William G. McGowan Charitable Fund

The William G. McGowan Charitable Fund has, since its inception, maintained a vision of impacting lives, creating lasting change, and empowering future generations to realize their greatest potential. The Fund brings this vision to life through grantmaking efforts in three program areas: education,

Personal services, Health and medical research. They prioritize programs that are proven, have measurable results, plans for sustainability, and aim to end cycles of poverty and suffering.

Committed to believing in the power of partnerships or collaborative efforts to maximize impact, the Fund seizes opportunities to work with other funders in their core program areas, seeking funding opportunities that share their philosophy and exploring the possibility of joint projects with other non-profit organizations. .

The Fund is managed in accordance with the deeply held values ​​of its benefactor, William G. McGowan. Among these are ethical leadership and the belief that every life has equal value.

For more information, please visit and learn more on Twitter


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