Private Directors Association Appoints Debra McGuire as President & CEO

Renowned Association Management Executive Chosen to Lead National Association Dedicated to Serving Private Company Boards and Directors

Chicago, IL (September 28, 2023) — The Private Directors Association (PDA), a national association dedicated exclusively to serving private company boards and directors with the mission of improving value, growth, and sustainability through private company board excellence, today announced the appointment of Debra N. McGuire, FASAE, MBA, IOM, CAE, as its new President & Chief Executive Officer.

McGuire succeeds Silvia Prickel, PDA's Vice Chair, who served as Interim CEO after the retirement of Budd Berro, who successfully led the national association as CEO from 2021 to 2023.

With more than three decades in association management, McGuire joins PDA, having served most recently as Executive Director of the International Association of Assessing Officers. Previously, she was President & Chief Executive Officer of the American Fire Sprinkler Association, Chief Executive Officer of the Michigan Academy of Family Physicians, and Executive Vice President of the Family Medicine Foundation of Michigan.

"We set out to find a new leader with impeccable association management credentials and a full understanding of the value of strong governance in ensuring company growth," said Elaine Eisenman, PhD, Chair, PDA Board of Directors. "After an exhaustive national search undertaken by a diverse cross-section of membership and the Board and a thorough review of more than 850 applicants from across the country, I can confidently say that we found the perfect choice to lead PDA.

"Debra's background in associations, governance, and building companies is critical for PDA as it continues to grow and impact the companies and communities its members serve," Eisenman continued. "We know that she will bring her knowledge of association best practices to bear as she joins us in shaping the future of PDA."

"I'm honored to be selected as the new President & CEO of the Private Directors Association and build on the foundation set forth by the Board and both Budd and Silvia in fulfilling PDA's mission," said McGuire. "In collaboration with PDA's members, sponsors, staff, and volunteers, we will continue to extend our leadership position as the premier national association dedicated to improving private companies' value, growth, and sustainability through governance that adds value."

McGuire has been awarded the designation of Certified Association Executive (CAE), the highest professional credential in the association industry. She is also a former Chair of the American Society of Association Executives (ASAE) CAE Commission, the ASAE Communication Section Council, and the ASAE Foundation Research Committee. Earlier this year, Debra was named an ASAE Fellow (FASAE) by her peers for her dedication and contributions as an inspirational and inclusive leader in the association management profession and the advancement of the association community. Fewer than 1% of all association executives achieve this recognition.

She is an alumna of the Honors College at Michigan State University, where she completed her undergraduate studies while on a track and field scholarship. McGuire is also a graduate of the Institute for Organizational Management (IOM) at the University of Notre Dame and Cornerstone University (MBA) in Grand Rapids, Michigan.


The Private Directors Association (PDA) is the premier national association dedicated to improving private companies' value, growth, and sustainability through governance that adds value. PDA is a national governance ecosystem of over 3,000 individuals, chapters, and corporate members, sponsors, and affiliations to enhance corporate value through high-performing boards. To learn more about PDA, visit

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