Advisory board

An advisory board is a body that provides non-binding strategic advice to the management of a corporation, organization, or foundation. The informal nature of an advisory board gives greater flexibility in structure and management compared to the board of directors. Unlike the board of directors, the advisory board does not have authority to vote on corporate matters or bear legal fiduciary responsibilities. Many new or small businesses choose to have advisory boards in order to benefit from the knowledge of others, without the expense or formality of the board of directors.


The function of an advisory board is to offer assistance to enterprises with anything from marketing to managing human resources to influencing the direction of regulators. Advisory boards are composed of accomplished experts offering innovative advice and dynamic perspectives.[1] Meeting quarterly or biannually, boards can provide strategic direction, guide quality improvement, and assess program effectiveness.[2]

Entrepreneurs, especially from startup companies or small business may not want to dilute their control of their business by establishing a board of directors with formal responsibilities and authorities. Thus, an advisory board may be a more suitable solution to entrepreneurs who want access to high-quality advice and network in the industry. Advisory board, as an external group, could also provide non-biased information and advice to entrepreneurs.

Advisory boards can be implemented in various different areas, including science, medicine, technology, editorial policy, citizen participation, and other topics.

Roles and responsibilities of advisory board members

  • developing an understanding of the business, market and industry trends
  • provide “wise counsel” on issues raised by owners/directors or management
  • provide unbiased insights and ideas from a third point-of-view (not involved in the operation of the business)
  • encourage and support the exploration of new business ideas
  • act as a resource for executives
  • provide social networking platform for directors and the company
  • encourage the development of a governance framework that enable sustainable growth of the company
  • monitor business performance
  • impose challenges to directors and management that could improve the business

Source: [3]

Reasons for creating an advisory board

The main reason to create an advisory board is to seek expertise outside of the company. Advisory board members should provide the company with knowledge, understanding and strategic thinking of the industry or management of the company.

Companies should seek advisory board members whose qualities complement the existing board of directors and not mask gaps in knowledge or skill in the main board. An advisory board strengthens the existing board, but does not interfere with authorities of the existing board. The former editor of The Economist, also an advisory board member, once said, “They (advisory boards) are there to give focus to or sometimes challenge research and intelligence work being done in the company, thus avoiding groupthink and giving direction on big picture issues.”.[4]

Creating and operating an advisory board

There are two key questions to be asked when creating and operating an advisory board. The first question is who is trying to achieve what from an advisory board. The second question is how the business of the board should be conducted. The following issues need to be addressed.


The type of advisory board members should be determined by the nature of what is sought and expected from them by the enterprise. Advisory board members should have distinctive knowledge on different aspects of business such as marketing, product development, sales techniques that are of use to the directors.

A lack of definition in “what is sought from the advisory board” or “what sort of advice is to be sought of” would lead to a disorganized board, which eventually could lead to an advisory board that provide less value per dollar or hour invested than a well-mandated one. Eventually, it could result in a waste of resources and time for the enterprise and the advisory board members.


The advisory board must determine what the focus of the committee is, whether it is a broad focus or a narrow one on a specific product feature. Individuals in an advisory board should share a common goal or similar interests.


Size of an advisory board influences the efficiency of delivering ongoing information and effectiveness of organizing board meetings. A large advisory board may result in managerial issues. Therefore, it is recommended that an advisory board begin with the advisory board leader, and grow from a fairly small size to its ultimate number. Group dynamics suggests the maximum size for an advisory board is eight members, which takes into account of the need for enterprise people and other facilitators at meetings. Some advisory board’s mandate may require more significant representation of a specific and large number of constituencies.

Meeting organization and frequency

The functioning of an advisory board is affected significantly by how effectively the group’s activities are organized and directed. A fixed meeting should be held regularly (monthly, annually or other) and advisory board members must be well informed of the purpose and background information of the meeting in order for them to provide valuable advice.

A corollary should be provided to advisory board members, which should be of an appropriate length, organized, comprehensible and informative. While it should be concise, it should provide enough details to provide advisory board members a suitable foundation for them to advise on the business. Confidentiality of the information discussed in the meeting shall be considered.

A skilled facilitator, administrator or corporate secretary is required to organize schedules of advisory board meetings and meeting materials. The facilitator or chair of the board should be committed and aware of time management for the meeting. An agenda could improve the organization and time management for the meeting.

Term of membership

Advisory board members could be appointed to specific terms i.e. one, two or three years so that it ensures them to actively commit to the company and prevent them to get too comfortable with their positions. Term of membership is also important when it comes to expansion of the board; term of membership ensures that the size of the advisory board remains efficient and manageable.


Advisory board members serve an enterprise for a range of reasons, from personal loyalty to direct compensation.

Benefits and drawbacks

Benefits of an advisory board

The benefits of having an advisory board over board of directors may include the following:

  • Distance control

Multinational companies have local companies running their business in a particular foreign jurisdiction for lower costs e.g. tax, price of raw materials, and organizational benefits. However, giving authority to an outside group of directors in the local company may increase risks and instability of the multinational corporation. Since an advisory board can operate in a different location, with different cultural and business norms, in a different language, multinational companies may choose to have an advisory board instead of a localized board of directors in order to avoid loss of control.

  • Preparation for board of directors

Companies may choose to have an advisory board before they have a board of directors. The development of an effective board of directors requires a group of individuals with good chemistry and has the combination of appropriate skills to propel the business. Having an advisory board allows companies to assess the commitments and capabilities of each individual and observe the chemistry between them before appointing them to a board of directors.

  • Higher efficiency

A large board of directors may grow to an unmanageable size where organizational complexity and communication breakdown may occur, leading to ineffective and inefficient function of the board. A smaller advisory board, without the complexity of authority involved in board of directors, may work more effectively compared to a board of directors that grows in size as the corporation grows.

  • Formal advice

The complexity and speed of enterprises often make it difficult to seek advice on any particular topic. Enterprises may also find building trust in any person or group to provide on-going and meaningful guidance difficult. An advisory board can then provide the degree of consistency, longevity and background knowledge as advisory board members provide reliable advice on particular issues. Advisory board members receive compensation for committing to their positions. This gives incentives to advisory board members to provide quality advice and ensure that a request for assistance is taken formally.

  • Less pressure on executives

Executives can express partially defined or tentative view to an advisory board since advisory board’s sole purpose is to provide advice. This allows them to “test-drive options” before they face the board of directors which demands definitive and assertive business decisions. The board of directors assesses the CEO and establishes his or her compensation. While an advisory board may induce change in the company for the benefits of the company, a board of directors inducing change in the company could suggest a lack of confidence in the senior management team. This imposes great pressure on senior executives and could become a barrier for senior executives to express their issues and seek advice from the board. Thus, an advisory board could be a ‘safe harbor’ for senior executives to seek advice and test business options.

  • Directoral Input

Directors and Assistant Directors are still required to bring any changes to policy or financial matters to the board for direction. No directors or assistant directors are to make any changes without board approval.

  • Focused input

An enterprise may need advice on a particular aspect of its business (such as marketing, product direction, customer service or contact network expansion). While board of directors need to take into account of all aspects and go through a series of administrative proceedings e.g. formal approvals, ratification, an advisory board can focus directly on a particular issue and give advice.

Drawbacks of an advisory board

The drawbacks of having an advisory board instead of a board of directors may include the following:

  • Less compensation

An advisory board deals with a more narrow range of issues and meet less often than board of directors. There is less commitment for advisory board members compared to directors in the board. This is reflected in the lower compensation advisory board members receive as compared to those in the board of directors. Nevertheless, the compensation for advisory board members depends on various factors, including return of investments, time, organization and cost.

  • Fiduciary duty/ liability issues

Board of directors is exposed to a variety of legislated liabilities, fiduciary and other duties. Responsibilities include unpaid wages, unpaid taxes, environmental damage, etc. By subjecting directors to such liabilities and fiduciary, directors are forced to make decisions and establish policies in a way that minimizes risks. Whereas, an advisory board is not subjected to fiduciary duties or liabilities and therefore could influence the enterprise by providing risky advice.


  1. ^ Stautberg S, Green N. Innovation from the Outside-In: How A Design Advisory Board Drives Innovation at P&G [Internet]. 1st ed. 2014 [cited 22 October 2014]. Available from:
  2. ^ Taylor, E., Marino, D. Rasor-Greenhalgh, S & Hudak, S. (2010). Navigating practice and academic change in collaborative partnership with a community advisory board. Journal of Allied Health, 39(3), 103-110.
  3. ^ SME Business Owners/Directors The benefits of an advisory board – mentoring for growth [Internet]. 1st ed. Australian Institute of Company Directors; 2009 [cited 25 October 2014]. Available from:
  4. ^ Bottomley V, Bingham K, Thorning-Lund S, Slattery R. The Role of Advisory Boards - Who, what, why and how? [Internet]. 1st ed. Odgers Berndtson; 2014 [cited 25 October 2014]. Available from:
A Prairie Home Companion

A Prairie Home Companion is a weekly radio variety show created and hosted by Garrison Keillor that aired live from 1974 to 2016. In 2016, musician Chris Thile took over as host, and the successor show was eventually renamed Live from Here. A Prairie Home Companion aired on Saturdays from the Fitzgerald Theater in Saint Paul, Minnesota; it was also frequently heard on tours to New York City and other U.S. cities. The show is known for its musical guests, especially folk and traditional musicians, tongue-in-cheek radio drama, and relaxed humor. Keillor's wry storytelling segment, "News from Lake Wobegon," was the show's best-known feature during his long tenure.

Distributed by Minnesota Public Radio's distribution arm, American Public Media, A Prairie Home Companion was heard on 690 public radio stations in the United States at its peak in spring 2015 and reached an audience of four million U.S. listeners each week. The show borrowed its name from a radio program in existence in 1969 that was named after the Prairie Home Cemetery near Concordia College, in Moorhead, Minnesota. It inspired a 2006 film of the same name, written by Keillor, directed by Robert Altman, and featuring Keillor, Kevin Kline, Lily Tomlin, Meryl Streep, and Lindsay Lohan. is a website that aggregates news produced primarily on the African continent about all areas of African life, politics, issues and culture. It is available in both English and French and produced by AllAfrica Global Media, which has offices in Cape Town, Dakar, Lagos, Monrovia, Nairobi, and Washington, D.C.. AllAfrica is the successor to the African News Service.

The current news and the archived news stories that the site presents are organizable by pull-down menus; the 1000 or so stories that are presented daily can be displayed by categories and subcategories such as country, region, and by dozens of standard news topics like business news, sports news, culture, climate, military, NGOs, World Cup, etc.

In 2008, rolled out a comment board system for hosted stories.

The President of AllAfrica Global Media, Amadou Mahtar Ba, is a member of the International Advisory Board of the African Press Organization.

Antiquities Advisory Board

The Antiquities Advisory Board is a statutory body of the Government of Hong Kong created in 1976 to evaluate old buildings in Hong Kong, and to recommend those with historical or architectural merit for listing as monuments. It is under the responsibility of the Home Affairs Bureau, directly under the Leisure and Cultural Service Department. Its head office is now housed in Former Kowloon British School.


CuriosityStream is a global nonfiction subscription video-on-demand streaming service. It exclusively delivers nonfiction documentaries and series about science, technology, history and nature. Launched on March 18, 2015, CuriosityStream is headquartered in Silver Spring, Maryland. CuriosityStream offers its users over 1,800 original and licensed titles and about 600 hours of nonfiction media worldwide.

On December 8, 2015, Amazon Prime began offering CuriosityStream as part of its add-on subscription service. Amazon-CuriosityStream is a separate subscription from CuriosityStream's main SVOD plan in that it will only permit access via Amazon Prime's platforms and is only available to Amazon Prime members. On November 1, 2017, it was announced that CuriosityStream would partner with VRV, an aggregate provider of streaming content, to allow access to CuriosityStream's content through their service. On November 8, 2017, Comcast began offering the service, in CuriosityStream's first MVPD distribution deal. On December 7, 2017, Sling TV began offering the service as an add-on option to their customers. On June 26, 2018, CuriosityStream formalized its first international distribution deal with Starhub, expanding its reach dramatically. On July 11, 2018, CuriosityStream began being offered as an add-on channel on YouTube TV.

Editorial board

The editorial board is a group of experts, usually at a publication, who dictate the tone and direction the publication's editorial policy will take.

Florence Devouard

Florence Jacqueline Sylvie Devouard, (née Nibart; born 10 September 1968) was the Chair of the Board of Trustees of the Wikimedia Foundation between October 2006 and July 2008.

John Doerr

L. John Doerr (born June 29, 1951) is an American investor and venture capitalist at Kleiner Perkins in Menlo Park, California. In February 2009, Doerr was appointed a member of the President's Economic Recovery Advisory Board to provide the President and his administration with advice and counsel in trying to fix America's economic downturn. In 2017, related to Forbes, he was recognized the 40th Richest In Tech. As of July 2017, Forbes ranked Doerr as the 105th richest person in the United States and the 303rd richest person in the world, with a net worth of US$ 7.5 billion as of February 16, 2018. Doerr is the author of Measure What Matters, a book about goal-setting. For 2019, his net worth increased up to $7.7 billion, being the 215th in the Billionaires 2019 list and the 56th in The Midas List: Top Tech Investors 2019.

Media RSS

Media RSS (MRSS) is an RSS extension that adds several enhancements to RSS enclosures, and is used for syndicating multimedia files (audio, video, image) in RSS feeds. It was originally designed by Yahoo! and the Media RSS community in 2004, but in 2009 its development has been moved to the RSS Advisory Board. One example of enhancements is specification of thumbnails for each media enclosure, and the possibility to enclose multiple versions of the same content (e.g. different file formats).

The format can be used for podcasting, which uses the RSS format as a means of delivering content to media-playing devices, as well as Smart TVs. Media RSS allows for a much more detailed description of the content to be delivered to the subscriber than the RSS standard. The standard is also used by content publishers to feed media files into Yahoo! Video Search, which is a feature of Yahoo! Search that allows users to search for video files.

National Gallery of Australia

The National Gallery of Australia (originally the Australian National Gallery) is the national art museum of Australia as well as one of the largest art museums in Australia, holding more than 166,000 works of art. Located in Canberra in the Australian Capital Territory, it was established in 1967 by the Australian government as a national public art museum.

National Science Advisory Board for Biosecurity

The National Science Advisory Board for Biosecurity is a panel of experts that report to the Secretary of the United States Department of Health and Human Services. It is tasked with recommending policies on such questions as how to prevent published research in biotechnology from aiding terrorism, without slowing scientific progress. It is composed of non-voting ex officio and appointed voting members. The current Chair of the NSABB is Samuel L. Stanley, Jr., M.D..As of 2017, the ex officio members were:

Department of Commerce:

Jason Boehm, Ph.D., Office of Program Analysis and Evaluation, National Institute of Standards and Technology Division Head

Department of Defense :

David Christian Hassell, Ph.D., Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Nuclear and Chemical and Biological Programs

Department of Energy:

Sharlene Weatherwax, Ph.D., Associate Director of Science for Biological and Environmental Research

Department of Health and Human Services

Anthony S. Fauci, M.D., Director, National Institute of Allergy & Infectious Disease

Sally Phillips, R.N., Ph.D., Deputy Assistant Secretary, Office of Policy and Planning, Office of the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response

CAPT Carmen Maher, Deputy Director, Office of Counterterrorism and Emerging Threats (OCET), Office of the Commissioner, Food and Drug Administration

Michael W. Shaw, Ph.D., Senior Advisor for Laboratory Science, Office of Infectious Diseases, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Department of Homeland Security

Wendy Hall, Ph.D., Special Senior Advisor for Biological Threats, Office of Chemical, Biological, and Nuclear Policy

Department of the Interior

Anne E. Kinsinger, Associate Director for Biology, U.S. Geological Survey

Department of Justice

Edward You, Supervisory Special Agent, FBI Weapons of Mass Destruction Directorate

Department of State

Christopher Park, Director, Biological Policy Staff, Bureau of International Security and Nonproliferation

Department of Veterans Affairs

Brenda A. Cuccherini, Ph.D., M.P.H. Special Assistant to the Chief Research and Development Officer, Veterans Health Administration

Environmental Protection Agency,

Gregory Sayles, Ph.D., Acting Director, National Homeland Security Research Center

Executive Office of the President

Gerald Epstein, Ph.D., Assistant Director for Biosecurity and Emerging Technologies, National Security and International Affairs Division, Office of Science and Technology Policy

Intelligence Community

Amanda Dion-Schultz, Ph.D., Office of the Chief Scientist

Robert M. Miceli, Ph.D., Biological Issue Manager and Advisor to the Director, Office of the Director of National Intelligence

National Aeronautics and Space Administration

David R. Liskowsky, Ph.D., Director, Medical Policy & Ethics, Office of the Chief Health and Medical Officer

Department of Agriculture

Steven Kappes, Ph.D. Deputy Administrator, Animal Production and Protection

National Security Council (India)

The National Security Council (NSC) (IAST: Rāṣṭrīya Surakṣā Pariṣada) of India is an executive government agency tasked with advising the Prime Minister's Office on matters of national security and strategic interest. It was established by the Atal Bihari Vajpayee government on 19 November 1998, with Brajesh Mishra as the first National Security Advisor. Prior to the formation of the NSC, these activities were overseen by the Principal Secretary to the Prime Minister.

President's Council on Jobs and Competitiveness

The President's Council on Jobs and Competitiveness, originally the President's Economic Recovery Advisory Board (PERAB), was an ad hoc panel of non-governmental experts from business, labor, academia and elsewhere that President of the United States Barack Obama created on February 6, 2009. The board reported to Obama and his economic team on possible ways to improve the nation's economy. Obama announced this new board on November 26, 2008, and also announced that it would be chaired by former Federal Reserve Chairman Paul Volcker with campaign economic adviser Austan Goolsbee as staff director and chief economist.

The council met a total of four times, with its final meeting on January 17, 2012. In 2013, the authorization for the council was not renewed, causing the council to be permanently shut down.

President's Intelligence Advisory Board

The President's Intelligence Advisory Board (PIAB) is an advisor to the Executive Office of the President of the United States. According to its self-description, it "...provides advice to the President concerning the quality and adequacy of intelligence collection, of analysis and estimates, of counterintelligence, and of other intelligence activities."The PIAB, through its Intelligence Oversight Board (IOB), also advises the President on the legality of foreign intelligence activities.

Puerto Rico Governor's Advisory Board

The Puerto Rico Governor's Advisory Board is the group of executive advisors that advise the Governor of Puerto Rico, and are appointed either by the governor or the chief of staff. The Board is charged with the tasks, functions, or program areas delegated to it by the Governor or the Chief of Staff, not contrary to any specific provision of Puerto Rican law or the Constitution of Puerto Rico. The Board, together with other staff appointed by the Chief of Staff, constitute the Secretariat of Governance.

RSS Advisory Board

The RSS Advisory Board is a group founded in July 2003 that publishes the RSS 0.9, RSS 0.91 and RSS 2.0 specifications and helps developers create RSS applications.

Dave Winer, the lead author of several RSS specifications and a longtime evangelist of syndication, created the board to maintain the RSS 2.0 specification in cooperation with Harvard's Berkman Center.

In January 2006, RSS Advisory Board chairman Rogers Cadenhead announced that eight new members had joined the group, continuing the development of the RSS format and resolving ambiguities in the RSS 2.0 specification. Netscape developer Christopher Finke joined the board in March 2007, the company's first involvement in RSS since the publication of RSS 0.91.

In June 2007, the board revised its version of the specification to confirm that namespaces may extend core elements with namespace attributes, as Microsoft has done in Internet Explorer 7. In its view, a difference of interpretation left publishers unsure of whether this was permitted or forbidden.

In January 2008, Netscape announced that the RSS 0.9 and RSS 0.91 specifications, document type definitions and related documentation that it had published since their creation in 1999 were moving to the board.

Yahoo transferred the Media RSS specification to the board in December 2009.


Scopus is Elsevier’s abstract and citation database launched in 2004. Scopus covers nearly 36,377 titles (22,794 active titles and 13,583 inactive titles) from approximately 11,678 publishers, of which 34,346 are peer-reviewed journals in top-level subject fields: life sciences, social sciences, physical sciences and health sciences. It covers three types of sources: book series, journals, and trade journals. All journals covered in the Scopus database, regardless of who they are published under, are reviewed each year to ensure high quality standards are maintained. The complete list is on the SCImago Journal Rank website. Searches in Scopus also incorporate searches of patent databases. Scopus gives four types of quality measure for each title; those are h-Index, CiteScore, SJR (SCImago Journal Rank) and SNIP (Source Normalized Impact per Paper).

The Official Encyclopedia of Bridge

The Official Encyclopedia of Bridge (OEB) presents comprehensive information on the card game contract bridge with limited information on related games and on playing cards. It is "official" in reference to the American Contract Bridge League (ACBL) which authorized its production and whose staff prepared and/or supervised its various editions.

The first edition of the Encyclopedia was published in 1964 with Richard Frey as Editor-in-Chief; it was the only one with an edition revised for an overseas market (The Bridge Players' Encyclopedia, 1967). The seventh and latest edition was published in 2011 following intermediate editions in 1971, 1976, 1984, 1994 and 2001. The Executive Editor for the first six was Alan Truscott, bridge editor of The New York Times. For the fourth through sixth editions, Henry Francis succeeded Frey as Editor-in-Chief. Frey and Francis were also successive editors of the ACBL monthly membership magazine. Numerous contributing editors to the Encyclopedia were listed in each edition as were members of Editorial Advisory Boards.

The redesigned seventh edition, in preparation since 2006, was released in November 2011. Editor was Brent Manley, with primary assistance from Mark Horton, Barry Rigal and Tracey Yarbro. This is the first edition to depart from the traditional alphabetical listing of individual entries and present a compilation of entries grouped into chapters, such as Bidding, Conventions and Card Play. Numerous photographs are included, together with 2 CDs; one containing the full printed version of the Encyclopedia and the other with biographies and tournament results.

Wikimedia Foundation

The Wikimedia Foundation, Inc. (WMF, or simply Wikimedia) is an American non-profit and charitable organization headquartered in San Francisco, California. It is mostly known for participating in the Wikimedia movement. It owns the internet domain names of most movement projects and hosts sites like Wikipedia. The foundation was founded in 2003 by Jimmy Wales as a way to fund Wikipedia and its sibling projects through non-profit means.As of 2017, the foundation employs over 300 people, with annual revenues in excess of US$109.9 million. María Sefidari is chair of the board. Katherine Maher has been the executive director since March 2016.

With God, all things are possible

With God, all things are possible is the motto of the U.S. state of Ohio. Quoted from the Gospel of Matthew, verse 19:26, it is the only state motto taken directly from the Bible (Greek: παρὰ δὲ θεῷ πάντα δυνατά, para de Theō panta dynata). It is defined in section 5.06 of the Ohio Revised Code and sometimes appears beneath the Seal of Ohio. The motto was adopted in 1959 and survived a federal constitutional challenge in 2001. The state maintains that it is a generic expression of optimism rather than an endorsement of a particular religion.

This page is based on a Wikipedia article written by authors (here).
Text is available under the CC BY-SA 3.0 license; additional terms may apply.
Images, videos and audio are available under their respective licenses.